Teen gunman gets 13 years in prison for 14-year-old girl's 2019 murder

Not even old enough to drive, Dereck Polanco-Rivera was just 16 and facing a murder charge. Now he's 18 and headed to prison.

The young defendant is accused of shooting into a car and killing 14-year-old Dinorah Rodriguez in July of 2019.

Investigators say Dinorah and Dereck were at the same party that night. Prosecutor Marcia Vanessa Lucas says Dereck had a beef with another teen, who left the party with Dinorah. She says Dereck followed the car and things took a deadly turn.

"The defendant pulled out a gun and fired six rounds, two of which struck Ms. Rodriguez's vehicle," explained Lucas. 

One shot struck Dinorah in the head, killing her.

Young victim of targeted shooting touched many lives

The family of a teen who was shot and killed says, even though Dinorah Rodriguez was only 14, she touched many lives.

Dereck Polanco-Rivera is now pleading guilty to second-degree murder charges and a weapons charge in exchange for 13 years in prison and eight years of probation. 

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Melissa Polo accepted the offer.

Dereck’s mother sat next to his public defender, knowing her son will be locked up until he's in his early 30s.