BUFFALO, N.Y. — 2 On Your Side has learned that the case of an Orchard Park man who was shot and killed last fall in Tampa, Fla., has now been closed.
No charges were filed in the shooting death of 19-year-old Carson Senfield, who was celebrating his birthday as a University of Tampa freshman on the night of his death last September.
The family's attorney spoke today as they still seek answers in this tragic case.
Daren Senfield said this in November about his son's case, "We just want answers. We want to know why this happened."
That request from the father of 19-year-old Carson Senfield may still not be answered.
Tampa Police and the prosecutors in the Tampa Office of the State Attorney decided to dismiss the case of his fatal shooting without filing any charges.
AJ Alvarez, who represents the Senfield family, sums up their reaction this way. "How could this have happened to our child? And the fact that it did and nothing can be done, they will never accept that."
Police say the driver of a vehicle fired the fatal shot as he said Senfield was alone when he tried to enter that vehicle. Police say Senfield apparently thought it was his Uber ride.
Tampa Police, who say that driver feared for his life, would not identify him using Florida's Marsy's Law, which shields victims.
Alvarez responded: "What was he a victim of is our argument. What was he a victim of? Someone opening his door? I know that they're claiming, because he doesn't want to be charged with murder, that he was in fear and that this was a car-jacking but it was not. You know they didn't find a gun on Carson."
Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law may have been the deciding factor in this case.
"We got the feeling that they had already decided that this was a Stand Your Ground event and not worthy of charges," Alvarez said. "It was us trying to say wait, wait, wait, you know, and we didn't have all the information to present to them why we didn't believe that was the case, and so we had to rely on what information they would give us."
Alvarez says that information, provided in discussions with police, was extremely limited with no real access to crucial police report elements, such as witness depositions, forensics, or ballistics.
"It's enraging that that we are still this many months away, and we don't even have the original police report. They are still shielding the shooter claiming that he is a victim," Alvarez said.
The attorney compares it to other tragic recent cases.
"Twice recently, this week, with someone mistakenly going to the wrong door, and another individual mistakenly going to the wrong car. I understand those facts are different and the wrong car. But it's still worthy of note that this Stand Your Ground idea has gotten to be from our perspective out of control," Alvarez said.
The attorney and we at 2 On Your Side have formally requested all Tampa Police reports on this case.
"We still remain hopeful that the State Attorney's Office will reconsider this what we believe to be obscene position," Alvarez said.