An online crowdfunding effort is surging with donations to help the children of a Black mother of four killed in central Florida over the weekend by a neighbor who lawyers have described as a racist white woman.
The GoFundMe account for Ajike “AJ” Owens has been steadily receiving contributions since it started on Monday, which is when reports about the fatal shooting in Ocala began taking off nationwide. The online fundraiser also called for donors to amplify calls to end the state’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law that critics say effectively legalizes murder based on a perceived threat.
Owens, 35, was shot to death when she went to retrieve her children’s iPad that a neighbor had taken during a racist rant on her property last Friday, her lawyers have maintained.
The woman is being called “racist” on social media.
The GoFundMe explained the tragic way in which Owens was killed last Friday:
Ajike’s children were playing in a field next to an Ocala apartment complex when an unidentified 58-year-old white woman reportedly began yelling at them and calling them racial slurs. The children left but accidentally left an iPad behind, which the woman took. When one of the children went to her residence to retrieve it, she threw it, hitting the boy and cracking the screen. After Ajike’s children informed her of what happened, she walked across the street with her kids to speak with the woman. She knocked on the door, and at that point, the woman allegedly shot through the door, hitting Ajike, who later died from her injuries. The woman responsible has not yet been identified, arrested, or charged with anything by law enforcement.
Reports identifying the neighbor as a woman named Susan Lorincz were posted to social media along with calls for her to be arrested. Officially, however, the woman’s identity has been concealed by local law enforcement while they say they’re working to determine whether any laws have been broken.
Florida is a “Stand Your Ground” state, a law that affords citizens the legal right to defend themselves with lethal force. At face value, what police and lawyers describe as happening to Owens does not resemble self-defense.
The Marion County Sheriff’s office claimed in a Facebook post that “all parties involved [in the shooting] are accounted for and are being interviewed,” so one can easily assume that if it’s true that the shooter wasn’t arrested or charged, she’s another violent bigot being protected under Florida’s infamous “stand your ground” law.
On Monday, Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods addressed “concerns” about the shooting he received from residents and denied accusations that his office “wasn’t doing anything” or “wasn’t moving fast enough.”
“I want the family to know I am here to provide all of my resources to make sure justice is served in this case,” Woods said before noting that an ongoing “neighborhood feud” between Owens and her alleged killer had caused deputies to be called to the area six to eight times in the past. Woods said the alleged “feud” between neighbors was over Owens’ children, and that the shooting was witnessed by two children who haven’t been interviewed by investigators yet “because they’re not heartless.”
The GoFundMe says donations will help in three ways: with funeral and memorial expenses; Owens’ children’s education expenses; and housing and all other living expenses for the family.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the GodFundMe had already garnered more than $71,000.
To make a donation to Owens’ GoFundMe, click here.
The post GoFundMe For Ajike ‘AJ’ Owens Soars With Donations After ‘Racist’ Shooting In Florida appeared first on NewsOne.
GoFundMe For Ajike ‘AJ’ Owens Soars With Donations After ‘Racist’ Shooting In Florida was originally published on newsone.com
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