HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A 16-year-old will be tried as an adult in connection to the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old in Brandon on June 13, the Hillsborough County State Attorney says.
Dereck Rivera, 16, was arrested and charged with second degree murder in the death of 14-year-old Dinorah Rodriguez on June 26.
Rodriguez was found suffering from a gunshot wound in a car outside of a Walgreens. She was taken to the hospital, but later died from her injuries.
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Deputies say Rivera was targeting the vehicle Rodriguez was in because he had an ongoing issue with a male occupant in the vehicle. According to authorities, four other people were with Rodriguez in the vehicle at the time of the shooting.
The shooting happened at the intersection of Kingsway Road and East Clay Avenue after the teenagers left a house party, according to the sheriff's office. The intersection is just a mile from the Walgreens where Rodriguez was found.
"This murder is very tragic, unfortunate and an unusual thing to happen in Hillsborough County," Sheriff Chronister said. "I understand that nothing I say can bring this young girl back, who was taken well before her time. Yet I hope that by putting the individual responsible for her death behind bars that her family, loved ones and friends can now find even a minuscule amount of comfort or relief."
Sheriff Chad Chronister also said Rivera was a certified gang member with a gang based in Town 'N Country. They say the shooting is not believed to be gang related.
Friends and family of Rodriguez remember her as a positive person, despite living most of her life in and out of foster care.
"Dinorah was sunshine in a rainy day she had a lot of people cared about her and Dinorah didn't deserve to lose her life like that," Yocasta Paredes said. "Dinorah was really young, and she didn't even get to experience like anything else in life. She was in foster care for most of her young life that's really unfair to someone with such a beautiful soul."