LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A photo taken almost three years ago shows Ki'Anthony Tyus, then 10-years-old, with his grandmother and Mayor Greg Fischer, about a year after he was hit by a stray bullet in Ballard Park. The youngster had begun using his story as a platform against violence.
Saturday evening, Ki'Anthony, now 13, was killed.
"The bottom line is it's just devastating," Christopher 2X, a family friend, said. "So there's no way to really describe the magnitude of his loss right now."
According to Louisville Metro Police, officers tried to pull over a black Lexus SUV that had been reported stolen Saturday evening around 8:30 while driving on I-65 southbound near Crittenden Drive. Police said the driver of the Lexus swerved towards the officers, causing two officers to crash their cruisers. The two officers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
Another officer continued to chase the driver, who turned onto Fern Valley Road and eventually lost control and hit a utility pole. According to police, there were five people inside the car, including four minors. Police said one person tried to run away but was caught by police. Three of the people inside the car were taken to the hospital, one with critical injuries.
2X said he received a phone call Sunday morning from Ki'Anthony's grandmother. She told him her grandson was also in the car and had died in the crash.
"We can't speak to what happened last night because we don't have the full story yet," 2X said. "However, he didn't cause his own death. We do know that. He didn't drive this vehicle."
Speaking on behalf of Ki'Anthony's family, 2X said the boy survived a shooting in 2015 when he was 9 years old. He would turn his experience into encouragement as he worked to keep others away from the violence that had affected his life.
"He wanted to encourage others to at least do their best to try to stay away from situations that could put them in harm's way with some of the shootings that had went on," he said. "It wasn't an easy run for him because he was still struggling with all the demons in the neighborhood."
2X said while Ki'Anthony tried to stay positive and help others, he was also dealing with the issues of crime in his own community, trying his best to stay away himself.
"For him, this was a constant, ongoing fight from within," he said. "How do I survive? How do I not become a statistic under peer pressure in a negative way?"
Over the years, Ki'Anthony and 2X formed a friendship as they worked to tackle the problem of violent crime. 2X said the two even spoke the week of his death.
"That conversation more or less entailed, 'Mr. Chris, how is your daughter doing? How is your grandchildren doing?'"
According to 2X, Ki'Anthony's family does not know why he was in the car - 2X said Ki'Anthony had told his grandmother he was going skating that day - but he said the news is hard to accept for everyone who knew him.
"With all of his challenges, whether good or bad or whatever, he is just too young to lose his life in such a violent way like he did," he said.