A University of Tampa student was shot and killed by a driver after he accidentally got into the wrong car thinking it was his Uber after a night out celebrating his 19th birthday.
Carson Senfield of Buffalo, New York, was shot and killed at 1 a.m. Saturday when he mistakenly entered the stranger’s vehicle — but so far, the unidentified shooter has not been arrested.
The sophomore, who was not known to the driver, was shot in the torso, and now the state attorney general must decide whether the driver was justified in killing the teenager under Florida’s controversial ‘Stand Your Ground Law.’
Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law allows people who use deadly force to defend themselves if they believe they are in imminent danger. Unlike other states’ laws, you are not required to try to run away first before engaging in deadly force.
The teenager was pronounced dead at the scene in Tampa, Florida, and the unnamed driver is cooperating with police.
Carson Senfield of Buffalo, New York, was shot and killed at
University of Tampa sophomore, unknown to the driver, was shot in the torso after a night out with friends
The scene near West Arch Street in Tampa, Florida, where the boy was shot and killed as he entered a stranger’s vehicle
He had just gotten out of an Uber that brought him near his home on West Arch Street when he then tried to get into another car.
The driver inside that car said he was in fear for his life when he shot and killed Seinfeld, according to investigators.
The Tampa Police Department said the driver was not arrested — and it’s now up to the state attorney’s office to determine whether or not the shooter was justified in his actions.
Carson’s heartbroken father Darren Senfield told WGRZ: ‘For us, the details will play themselves out. We don’t have our son, we are grieving, we are broken, we are broken.
‘It was a senseless tragedy that we’re still trying to figure out, but at this point it doesn’t matter, we don’t have our Carson with us.
‘We spoke to him two days before he celebrated his birthday with friends on Friday night.
The teenager’s heartbroken family paid tribute to him following the tragic death
They set up a GoFundMe in an effort to set up a college fund in his memory
‘He enjoyed his people, whether they were in West New York or his people in Tampa. He was such a generator of great vibes.’
A friend of Carson’s, Jacob Skintges, hailed the ‘brightest light in the room.’
He said: ‘From the moment I met the child, it was the brightest light in the room. I mean, Carson could make anyone laugh at any time.
‘I just want everyone to remember him as that, because that’s who he was.’
A GoFundMe has been set up following the tragic loss, but his father said the money will be used to set up a scholarship in his son’s name.
He added, “We’re going to send this (money to) a scholarship at a later date to make sure kids like Carson, kids who have that love for people, have the chance to go to college.”
The University of Tampa said in a statement: ‘UT administration is deeply saddened to report that a UT student was killed early this morning near the intersection of W. Arch and N. Munro streets.
‘Our heartfelt condolences go out to the student’s family and friends, as well as everyone affected by this incident.
‘The university values all members of the community and mourns this tragic loss.’
David Lillec, superintendent of the Orchard Park School District, where he graduated in 2021, said: ‘It is with great sadness to inform you that the Orchard Park community has suffered a tragic loss when Carson Senfield, a 2021 graduate from Orchard Park High School, died today.
“Given Carson’s wide circle of friends and the fact that Carson’s two siblings attend OPHS, the Orchard Park School District recognizes that his passing has a far-reaching impact.
‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the Senfield family at this difficult time. Carson was a light in this world and will forever be a Quaker.’
Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law – what does it cover?
In Florida, you are allowed to use deadly force in self-defense if you believe you are in danger of being killed or seriously injured by another person.
However, unlike other states’ laws, you are not required to try to run away first before engaging in deadly force.
People can use ‘stand your ground’ when they believe there is a genuine reason why they are about to become the victim of a serious crime.
But the statue says it cannot be used to defend anyone involved in criminal activity.
Nor can people invoke the law if they use deadly force against a law enforcement officer performing their duties.
You can only use ‘stand your ground’ if the person is somewhere they are legally allowed to be – so someone won’t be able to use the law while breaking into someone’s home, for example.
According to Florida Statutes Chapter 776: ‘A person is entitled to use or threaten to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that it is necessary to use or threaten to use such force to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a crime of forcible conduct.
“A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force under this subsection has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his ground if the person who uses or threatens to use the deadly force power, is not involved in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.’