HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A 16-year-old suspect has been arrested in the shooting that killed a 14-year-old girl in Brandon.
Dereck Rivera, 16, was arrested and charged with second degree murder in the death of 14-year-old Dinorah Rodriguez, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
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On Monday, June 17 HCSO received a 911 call about the shooting at the intersection of Kingsway Road and E Clay Avenue. Dinorah was taken by ambulance to Brandon Hospital and then flown to Tampa General Hospital, where she was in very critical condition. Deputies announced on Tuesday Dinorah died from her injuries.
"After interviewing the three other young people in the car with the victim during the shooting, deputies learned that the teenagers had just left a house party," Sheriff Chad Chronister said during a press conference on Wednesday, June 26. "A male occupant in the vehicle had a long standing beef with our suspect, Dereck Rivera. Detectives believe that is why Rivera targeted the car the young girl happened to be riding in."
Sheriff Chad Chronister also said Rivera was a certified gang member with the "TC Boys" based in Town 'N Country. They say the shooting is not believed to be gang related.
"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."
The sheriff's office says the State Attorney's Office will determine if Rivera will be charged as an adult.
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