Carson Senfield was shot dead at 1:20 a.m. Saturday morning after returning to his off-campus home on West Arch Street.
The family of a 19-year-old University of Tampa student who was shot and killed while trying to get into the care of a stranger after a night out, say they still don’t know how he died.
Carson Senfield was shot dead at 1:20 a.m. Saturday morning after returning to his off-campus home in West Arch Street, Tampa, after a night out to celebrate his birthday.
He had just exited an Uber in front of his house as he approached the other vehicle—a black sedan that appeared to have no license plates in photos taken at the scene.
Senfield approached and opened the passenger side door of the car.
It’s not clear exactly what happened next, but the driver of that vehicle, who was not named, said he feared for his life and shot him.
According to the police, the man lives “nearby”, but did not know Carson.
Investigators have not revealed what he was doing in his vehicle at 1:20 a.m., armed with a handgun, or whether the firearm was legally in possession.
Scene photos show a child’s stuffed animal in the back seat of the sedan. The keys were still in the ignition when police searched the car early Saturday morning.
In Florida, he can call in a Stand Your Ground defense and claim that he thought Carson wanted to kill him.
It is now up to the Florida attorney to determine whether the charges are justified, but the case is still under investigation as a murder.
The black sedan in which Carson Senfield died at 1.20 am on Saturday after returning from a night out. There is a stuffed animal belonging to a child in the back seat, but it is unclear whether there were children in the vehicle at the time
The vehicle will be displayed on West Arch Street in the early hours of Saturday morning after the shooting. The owner has not yet been identified
Carson’s family traveled from New York State to Florida this week to collect his remains. His father Daren, a salesperson for Abbott, says they are still trying to get the details together
Carson was a high school hockey player and star athlete. He was celebrating his 19th birthday when he died
While police and prosecutors try to determine whether the murder was justified, Carson’s family in upstate New York tries to figure out how he died for himself.
“It was a senseless tragedy that we are still trying to sort out, but right now it doesn’t really matter, we don’t have our Carson with us,” his grieving father Daren told local outlet WGRZ.
He added: “The details will play themselves out.”
The family flew from New York to Tampa on a private jet paid for by donations from a GoFundMe account created earlier this week.
They are believed to have returned with Carson’s remains.
In a statement to that page on Sunday, Daren and his wife, Carson’s mother Bridget Henderson Senfield, said: “The response and the outpouring of love and support has been absolutely overwhelming… he was an incredible young man with a passion for his friends and his family.’
The page has raised more than $100,000, which the family has pledged towards a scholarship in Carson’s honor.
Carson had celebrated his birthday with friends on South Howard Avenue. At 1:20 a.m., he got out of his Uber on West Arch Street and then got into the back seat of the sedan. The driver shot and killed him and claimed he feared for his life
Carson with an uncle in a recent photo. Family now mourns teen’s death
The Tampa Police Department has not filed charges against the driver.
They say he is cooperating with the investigation and the decision will be made by the Florida State Attorney’s Office.
Criminal defense experts say the shooter has a legitimate Stand Your Ground defense.
Factors to consider: What exactly was this guy doing, did he get in the car and if he looked like he was attacking this person or was he just trying to get in the car because if he never gets in the car and never crosses the threshold – I don’t know how the persons who shot the deceased can say that he acted in self-defense,” said attorney Roger Futerman.
“It’s strange for someone to be in the car at 1:20 am in the middle of the night with a gun ready to go,” he added.
It is not clear whether the driver has engaged a lawyer.
The scene after the Saturday night shooting. It is unclear how many times Carson was shot