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Dad of Orchard Park grad killed in Tampa said 'we're heartbroken'

A driver claiming he feared for his life shot and killed Carson Senfield, 19, a University of Tampa student from Orchard Park.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Carson Senfield, according to his family was celebrating his 19th birthday on the day he was tragically shot to death.

Tampa police say early Saturday morning, the University of Tampa sophomore was shot to death by the driver of a vehicle. The driver, according to police, said he feared for his life. 

Police say Senfield had taken an Uber home. After getting out, police report that witnesses say he tried to get into another car. It was the driver of that vehicle who shot the Orchard Park native, claiming he didn't know him or why he was trying to get into the car.

Senfield, a 2021 Orchard Park High graduate was well-known in athletics. 

He played hockey, baseball, and other sports.

His father Darren Senfield spoke by phone with Channel 2's Claudine Ewing about his oldest son. 

"He was such a bright light to everybody he was an apple in everybody's eye. Sports was a great conduit  and it's the reason we have a wonderful network of support in WNY."

"We spoke with him two days before he was celebrating his birthday with friends on Friday evening. He enjoyed his people whether they were in WNY or his people in Tampa. He was such a generator of great vibes," said Darren Senfield.

As for the crime that led to his son's death, Senfield said, "To us, the details will play themselves out. We don't have our son, we're mourning, we're heartbroken, we're devastated."

"It was a senseless tragedy that we're still trying to figure out, but at this point, it doesn't really matter, we don't have our Carson with us," his father said.

Cuba Lake is a place where the family said Carson loved to spend time with his family.

Credit: Senfield family

His father recalls telling his son when he dropped him off at college last month to always call his mother. He did. 

"He would text her and call her and say I love you every day, that's just the kind of kid he was."

A GoFundMe has been organized. Carson's dad said, "We will direct that (money to) a scholarship at a later date to make sure kids like Carson, kids that have that love for people have the chance to go to college."

The family considers WNY a gem for their outpouring of support.

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