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Vehicle of interest in deadly bus stop shooting found on fire in St. Matthews

Louisville police said they were looking for a gray Jeep in connection with the deadly shooting of a 16-year-old in the Russell neighborhood.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A vehicle connected to the deadly shooting of a high school student was found on fire in St. Matthews early Thursday morning.

Two officers on patrol saw a vehicle on fire near the Jamestown Apartments around 1:30 a.m. Thursday. After putting out the fire, the officers realized the vehicle matched the description of the car LMPD was looking for and ran its plates.

St. Matthews Police Chief Barry Wilkerson said the vehicle had been stolen and matched the description of the vehicle Louisville police had been looking for in connection with the death of 16-year-old Tyree Smith.

Smith, a student at Eastern High School, was killed in a drive-by shooting early Wednesday morning while waiting for his school bus at W.J. Hodge and Chestnut Street in the Russell neighborhood. Two other students were injured.

"With our quick action and putting out the fire quickly, we are hoping that there could be evidence extracted from the inside or the outside of the vehicle," Wilkerson said. "We turned it over to [LMPD], we’re just hoping that what we did will help them find the suspects in this case."

After the incident, LMPD released a photo of the vehicle of interest — a gray 2019 Jeep Cherokee with an Illinois license plate. The department did not specify whether the occupants of the vehicle were involved in the shooting or witnessed it.

Just after 10:30 a.m. Thursday, the department confirmed that the vehicle had been recovered.

"We're in the midst of the investigation and unable to answer any additional questions at this time," LMPD spokesperson Beth Ruoff said in a news release.

No arrests have been made.

LMPD is asking the public to share any information they may have, including possible video footage of the shooting. If you have any information, you can leave an anonymous tip by calling 574-LMPD (5673).

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