A University of Tampa student – and a New York native – was shot dead over the weekend after accidentally trying to get into a stranger’s car, authorities said.
Carson Senfield, a 2021 graduate of Orchard Park High School, celebrated his 19th birthday just a day before his tragic death on Saturday, according to his family.
“We spoke to him two days ago, he was celebrating his birthday with friends on Friday night,” heartbroken father Darren Senfield told Channel 2 from Tampa.
“He enjoyed his people whether they were in WNY or his people in Tampa. He was such a great vibration generator.”
Police say Senfield was hanging out with friends on South Howard Avenue before calling an Uber back to his home on West Arch Street around 1am.
After exiting his Uber, Senfield apparently tried to get into another vehicle with a man in the driver’s seat.
The driver, who didn’t know Senfield, shot him in the chest, and the teenager was pronounced dead at the scene, police officers said.
The Tampa Police Department said the shooter was cooperating with law enforcement.
The University of Tampa announced Senfield’s death in a statement Saturday afternoon.
“The UT administration is deeply saddened to report that a UT student was killed earlier this morning near the intersection of W. Arch and N. Munro streets,” the statement said.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of the student and to everyone affected by this incident. The University values all members of the community and mourns this tragic loss.”
University freshman Gino Secchiano told Fox13 that the campus was still rocked by the news.
“It’s a small enough campus where people know each other and you don’t think something like that can happen here, but it can happen,” he said.
“It is a tragedy and I am so sorry for his family and everyone else. My heart is with them.”
Senfield’s sudden death also rocked his hometown of Orchard Park, where he was a noted high school hockey and basketball player.
“It brings me great sadness to report that the community of Orchard Park has suffered a tragic loss as Carson Senfield, a 2021 graduate of Orchard Park High School, passed away today,” Superintendent David Lillec said in a statement On Sunday.
“Given Carson’s large circle of friends and the fact that Carson’s two siblings attend OPHS, the Orchard Park School District recognizes that his death has far-reaching implications.”
Darren Senfield described his son as “such a bright light for everyone” who wrote and called his mother every day.
As for the events surrounding his son’s death, Senfield says the family is confident that “the details will work themselves out.”
“We don’t have our son, we mourn, we’re heartbroken, we’re devastated,” he said.
“It was a senseless tragedy that we’re still trying to figure out, but at this point it doesn’t matter, we don’t have our Carson with us.”
A GoFundMe honoring Carson has already raised over $104,000 — about $79,000 more than his original goal of $25,000.
“We’ll lead this [money to] a scholarship at a later date to ensure kids like Carson … have a chance to go to college,” said Darren Senfield.
https://nypost.com/2022/09/20/university-of-tampa-student-fatally-shot-idd-as-new-yorker/ University of Tampa student shot dead as New Yorker