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2021 Orchard Park graduate fatally shot in Tampa where he attended college

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A 2021 Orchard Park High School graduate was killed early Saturday morning in Tampa, Fla., after being shot by the driver of a vehicle who told police that he feared for his life when he fired the weapon.

The victim was identified in multiple media reports from Florida and Western New York as Carson Senfield, 19, a University of Tampa student.

Senfield was hanging out with friends on South Howard Avenue and took an Uber ride to his home near the 1000 block of West Arch Street in Tampa just prior to the shooting, witnesses told Tampa police.

After exiting the Uber ride, Senfield tried to get into a vehicle parked nearby, police said in a news release.

The driver of the parked vehicle told police he did not know Senfield or why he was forcing his way into the vehicle. The driver shot Senfield in the upper body and told police that he had “feared for his life” at the time, according to the news release. The incident happened around 1:20 a.m.

Senfield died at the scene.

Tampa police have not identified the shooter, who remained at the scene and was cooperating with detectives.

Police cited the “circumstances surrounding this incident” as well as a Florida statute known as “Marsy’s Law” for declining to identify the shooter and the shooting victim.

The Orchard Park School District confirmed that the victim was Senfield, a 2021 graduate who played ice hockey for the school.

The district sent an email Saturday to families from Superintendent David Lilleck saying that it will have counselors available.

"Given Carson’s wide circle of friends, and the fact that Carson’s two siblings attend OPHS, the Orchard Park School District recognizes that his passing has a far reaching impact," the letter says. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Senfield family during this difficult time. Carson was a light in this world and will forever be a Quaker."

Senfield was a sophomore majoring in finance, a University of Tampa spokesman said.

The stretch of West Arch Street where the shooting happened is about a mile northwest of the campus.

The Florida Attorney’s Office will decide any potential criminal charges in the case, Tampa police said.

A Facebook post from Orchard Park Little League said Senfield was a former player and umpire in the league.

"We are sending love and strength to his family and we promise he will always be with us," the post said.

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My byline has run in the Ithaca Journal, USA Today, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle and the New York Times. I have been a staff reporter at The Buffalo News since 2002 and currently am part of the watchdog team.

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