HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – An arrest was made in the shooting death of a 14-year-old girl in Brandon, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday.
Sheriff Chad Chronister said the girl was in a car with three other people. They had just left a house party in Valrico on June 17. Their car was at the intersection of Kingsway Road and East Clay Avenue when the suspect opened fire and a round went through the rear window of the vehicle, hitting the girl in the head, Chronister said.
The victim has been identified by friends as Dinorah Rodriguez, who went by the name Barbie.
Investigators later learned the suspect, Dereck Rivera, 16, had “longstanding beef” with a person inside of the vehicle.
Chronister said Rivera is a member of a gang in Town ‘N’ Country.
“This young girl was not the intended target of our shooter,” Chronister said.
Rivera is facing charges of throwing a deadly missile into a vehicle as well as second-degree murder.
8 On Your Side stopped by his Hillsborough County home and talked to his brother.
“Dereck’s just the goofiest, he’s always playing around,” said Matthew Santiago. “He’s always had a smile on his face. It was just hard for all of us to hear it was supposedly him,” his brother said.