LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Teenagers in Louisville are expressing their frustrations, just more than two weeks since Tyree Smith’s death. The 16-year-old was shot and killed at a school bus stop in late September.
The group called "The Real Young Prodigy’s" returned to the intersection of WJ Hodge and Chestnut Streets on Friday to film a music video for a song called “Danger," in Tyree’s honor -- an anthem against violence that’s hurting children more by the day.
They say the music helps them cope with trauma, while also educating others about the struggles they’re going through. They're hoping their message can help in the mission to prevent youth violence.
Of the more than 150 homicides LMPD has investigated this year, 21 victims have been 17 years old or younger.
It's a mission so personal to 14-year-old Jeriah McMillan, that he looked right into the camera lens when WHAS 11 spoke to him.
"Don't keep your emotions inside yourself. Let people know what's going on and they can help you," McMillan said. "Tyree getting killed opened the eyes of a lot of people about what's going on."
Balloons and flowers remain at the intersection, where police say Tyree Smith was shot while waiting for his school bus one morning.
Families are still in pain. Kids are pushing through trauma.
"It's something they hear all the time," "The Real Young Prodigy's" Co-Founder NyRee Clayton-Taylor said, talking about drive-by shootings.
With the blessing of Tyree's mother, Sherita Smith, the group made its statement on camera at the intersection.
"Kids our age are getting killed too, that lets us know that we really need to start stepping up now," McMillan said.
"It's what they feel needs to be talked about," Clayton-Taylor said.
For years, "The Real Young Prodigy's" have used rap as an outlet to cope and a platform to educate.
"When I started rapping, something inside of me just let go," McMillan said.
This time they went a step further for Tyree.
"They are the ones who change policy, and who change minds," Clayton-Taylor said.
McMillan says it all comes back to choices teenagers make: Decisions to not stay silent with what they believe in, or the struggles they have to overcome.
"If you're going through something in your life, if you can't express it, talk to an adult who you really trust or somebody you can really connect to," McMillan said.
►Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users.
Have a news tip? Email email@example.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.