BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Last September, Carson Senfield — a Western New York native, in his first month away at college at the University of Tampa — was celebrating his 19th birthday when he was shot and killed.
His family’s attorney, Ralph Fernandez, says he accidentally got in the wrong vehicle, thinking it was an Uber.
According to Tampa police, the driver of that vehicle “feared for his life.” The driver shot Senfield in the upper body, he was pronounced dead at the scene and the driver was never charged.
“We saw there were some big problems in the case, early,” said Fernandez.
The Stand Your Ground Law in Florida states, if a person is somewhere where he/she is lawfully entitled to be so on private property, and has reasonable fear with the presumption that the intruder intends to commit an unlawful act, then deadly force is allowed.
But in photos provided to Fernandez, he says the car was not on private property so Stand Your Ground doesn’t apply.
“The car that appeared to be the target of all the photographs, is the car that is straddling a sidewalk,” said Fernandez.
He continues with more from that initial meeting with police. “Did the shooter have any legal problems? Any history?” Nope he’s clean. Clean as a whistle,” said Fernandez.
Fernandez says police told him the shooter had no criminal record. But Fernandez said in an 8-page document from Florida’s State Attorney’s Office, which was shared with News 4, he noticed the shooter had a mugshot.
Fernandez told News 4, the shooter has a previous weapons charge.
The case is currently closed, but Fernandez says he believes this new evidence may be enough to reopen it, something Senfield’s family is fighting for.
“They said if you, Mr. Fernandez, if you can make a difference to save one young man’s life like ours, then all our pain would’ve been worth it,” said Fernandez.
Tampa police responded to News 4, saying they are working on our request for more information.
Kelsey Anderson is an award-winning anchor who came back home to Buffalo in 2018. See more of her work here and follow her on Twitter.