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Unclear if "Stand Your Ground" law will apply in Tampa shooting case of WNY native

WNY native Carson Senfield was shot and killed after allegedly trying to get in someone's vehicle on September 17, it's unclear if Stand Your Ground law will apply.

TAMPA, Fla. — Carson Senfield was shot and killed after allegedly trying to enter someone's vehicle on September 17 in Tampa, Florida. 

According to the Tampa Police Department, the Orchard Park native took an Uber home after a night out with friends on his birthday. After exiting the Uber, Senfield, and his friends, allegedly tried to enter someone's vehicle. 

Tampa Police say the driver "feared for his life," then allegedly shot and killed Senfield. 

Senfield was a 2021 graduate of Orchard Park High School. 

Tampa Police have not released the name of the alleged shooter, nor have any charges been filed. The Florida State Attorney is aware of the case. 

Florida does have a stand-your-ground law enacted, though until more facts are available, it's unclear if the law would apply in this case.

"What the facts have to be here to excuse this act that resulted in death is that there has to have been a forcible entry," said attorney Paul Cambria. "Not, you know, witnesses saying that the kid who was killed was saying things like, 'Hey, let me in as my friend in your car' or something that indicates something that negates a fear of death, or serious injury."

According to the law:

"A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using or threatening to use defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:

(a) The person against whom the defensive force was used or threatened was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle;"

Cambria says that the question now is defining what would qualify as fearing for your life. 

"If somebody was pointing a gun up in the air and firing it, and those were the facts, a reasonable person would say you didn't have any actual fear of death there," Cambria said, outlining a hypothetical scenario. "If they were pointing it at you and they shot over your shoulder or something and then pointed it back at you, those facts would justify a reasonable person to believe that you were in imminent fear of death or serious injury."

2 On Your Side reached out to Tampa Police for a copy of the police report and for any updates on the case but did not receive a response. 

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