No charges will be filed against a man who fatally shot a University of Tampa student after the 19-year-old mistakenly got into his car last fall, likely thinking it was his Uber ride, the Hillsborough County state attorney announced Friday.
In a December letter to the Tampa Police Department, State Attorney Susan Shorter Lopez called the “use of force” by the unnamed man, who had claimed he feared for his life when Carson Senfield got into his car, “justified,” FOX 13 Tampa reported.
Lopez wrote at the time to Interim Chief Lee Bercaw, “The office of the State Attorney has completed a review of the investigation of the death of Carson Senfield on September 17, 2022. A review of the facts gathered during the investigation and the applicable law compels the conclusion that [the unnamed shooter]’s use of deadly force against Carson Senfield was justified pursuant to Florida Statute 776.012.(2)” more commonly known as Stand Your Ground. “No charges shall be filed.”
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Senfield family attorney Ralph Fernandez called the decision a “miscarriage of justice, clear and manifest.”
“This ain’t right,” he told FOX 13. “Obviously, the kid’s making a mistake. You can’t shoot him like a dog like that. He’s got to at least do something to you.”
Lopez and Fernandez didn’t immediately return after-hours emails from Fox News Digital.
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Senfield had ordered an Uber near where he lived in Tampa Bay, Florida, around 1 a.m. that Saturday while he was celebrating his 19th birthday with friends.
He was shot in the chest when he mistakenly got into the wrong car.
“Each time is like a dagger in the heart. I’m embarrassed that we are where we’re at,” Fernandez told FOX 13, referring to other recent cases where a teen was shot after knocking on the wrong door in Mississippi and in New York a woman was killed turning around in someone’s driveway. Charges were filed in those cases.
Attorney A.J. Alvarez, who also represents the family, told WTSP-TV, “It seems like no one cares. This young life with so much promise was just ripped away from them.”
He added, “There needs to be public outrage. Stand Your Ground has gotten to the point now where it’s breeding individuals looking to shoot someone.”
The University of Tampa put out a statement after Senfield’s death, telling FOX 13 it was “deeply saddened.”
“The 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 all who were affected by this incident. The University values all members of the community and mourns this tragic loss,” the university told Fox 13.
The shooter remains unidentified because he’s protected by Marsy’s law, which conceals victims’ identities, and authorities consider him a potential victim since he said he feared for his life.
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