The parents of Carson Senfield still don’t know the identity of the person who shot and killed their 19-year-old son in September, but a news release from Ralph Fernandez, the family’s lawyer, reveals new details they believe may explain what happened in the moments before his death.
Carson was a student at the University of Tampa when he was shot on Sept. 17 — his 19th birthday. The Tampa Police Department has been investigating his killing, and Fernandez says Senfield’s family has been given minimal information about what happened and has not been told the identity of the shooter.
On Oct. 11, Fernandez sent a letter expressing the family’s desire to know the shooter’s identity to Tampa Police Chief Mary O’Connor. The letter led to a meeting with O’Connor and others in the department Tuesday, Fernandez said. He did not say what information they shared with him, but he did say police would not give him the shooter’s name, citing Marsy’s Law.
“The limited facts that I have been able to gather reflect that this was an absolutely egregious, unfounded event,” Fernandez wrote in the letter, provided to the Times. “There was no rational reason to kill. I cannot understand why the parents do not have the information about the perpetrator, nor the state of the case. We need that information so that we can facilitate the provision of perhaps additional evidence that law enforcement has not considered.”
In an email to the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday, police said the case still is under investigation and the agency is not releasing additional information at this time. The Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office is currently reviewing the case, police said.
Members of Senfield’s family found Carson’s house key outside of his home near the 1000 block of West Arch Street. It’s a possible clue that Tampa police had missed, according to Fernandez. Senfield’s family believes the teen must have dropped his key and been locked out after returning home from bars on South Howard Avenue, Fernandez wrote. Tampa police reported he arrived home around 1:20 a.m.
Carson’s roommate still was at the bars, so, based on Uber records, his family thinks Senfield called an Uber so he could meet up with his roommate and get a key, according to the release.
Senfield’s family believes Carson saw a vehicle he thought was his Uber and opened the back door. According to Tampa police, Carson attempted to get into the vehicle, and as he did so, the driver shot him.
The driver said he didn’t know Senfield or why the teen was trying to get into his vehicle, and police said he fired his gun because he feared for his own life. Tampa police said the driver remained on the scene after the shooting.