ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — 2 On Your Side was able to obtain the Tampa Police Department report on the investigation into the September 2022 shooting death of Carson Senfield from Orchard Park.
That occurred in Tampa, Florida, where Senfield was attending the University of Tampa.
It is a 124-page report from Tampa PD, which, in places referring to the actual shooter, is heavily redacted. That was expected as no charges were filed by the Florida State Attorney's office in Tampa.
The case was ruled to be a justifiable homicide under Florida's Stand Your Ground Law. Police said the shooting suspect stayed on scene, cooperated with them, and told them he feared for his life when he fired the fatal shot.
Carson Senfield was celebrating his 19th birthday on the night the shooting occurred and reportedly had been celebrating with friends in an entertainment district in Tampa.
They had sent him home in an Uber, and for some reason Senfield, according to police, tried to enter another car in that neighborhood through a back door with the unidentified shooter in the driver's seat.
Police say that person fired a single shot from a handgun in his possession that struck Senfield in the chest and killed him. Police say they will not identify the suspect because of Marsy's Law, which applies to crime victims.
In the police report Tampa homicide detectives say they interviewed the shooter who told them "he was on the side of the car, and before I even pulled, I'm like, 'He is about to shoot me, or I will shoot him.' "
The driver said he though Senfield was pointing something at him.
Police say they did find at the scene a cell phone and vaping pen, which belonged to Senfield.
Police say the shooter's girlfriend was also in the car in the passenger seat, and she noticed someone coming inside the car. She said the shooter said, "Hey man, what are you doing? What are you doing?' "
She said the person did not respond, and while she was facing away, she heard the shot.
Police also said the shooter then tried to help the victim, and as officers arrived, they saw him performing CPR on Senfield in the street. Responding officers also tried CPR on Senfield but he was unresponsive.
The shooter was quoted as saying he "did not want somebody dead and did not know why some 'dude' was trying to rob him or whatever."
The report indicates the shooter went to his nearby home and knocked on the door because his mother was there. She told police she heard the shot and checked on her son. She says he told her he was not all right because of what happened. She said her son has a valid permit for the weapon and carries it because of the crime problem in the area.
Other witnesses are also mentioned as seeing Senfield near the vehicle of the shooter, but they did not see the actual shooting. The report states there was no available surveillance video at the scene of the shooting.
Tampa-based attorney Ralph Fernandez, who represents the Senfield family, has sharply criticized the police investigation and is pushing for the state prosecutor to take another look. Tampa Police responded to say that it was a full investigation.
The Senfield family in Orchard Park said they had no comment at this time. Their attorneys have said previously they may seek legal action at some point.