LOUISVILLE, Ky. — One year ago today, 16-year-old Tyree Smith was shot and killed while waiting for his school bus in Louisville.
Louisville Metro Police said he was just a bystander and not the intended target.
Two other kids were shot at the bus stop on 21st and chestnut Street that day; a 13-year-old and 14-year-old were also injured in the shooting.
At the time, Sherita Smith, the young boy's mother, told WHAS11 it was just minutes after he walked out their door that morning that she received the call from her son saying that he'd been shot.
She immediately went to help him hoping that his injuries weren’t too serious, but that wasn’t what she found when she got to the bus stop.
“You mean to tell me something that I had, my first-born child is gone away from me, I can never hold him, I can never touch him, I can never tell him I love him?” she asked. “I feel like a part of me died with my son."
At a vigil in September of last year, Tyree's mother called him a happy, healthy kid who was on the right path. She said he didn’t hang out with boys who had guns and had stayed out of trouble.
LMPD Chief Erika Shields echoed the sentiment, saying he was just a bystander.
Two 16-year-old teens were arrested and charged in December of last year.
A grand jury indicted Demaurion Moore and Mekhi Cable on June 29. Both will be charged as adults.
The shooting sparked security reforms at Jefferson County Public Schools.
Shields called on the school district to hire armed officers for every school but the district stopped short of that plan.
They hired safety administrators, or unarmed people who will build relationships with students.
And some armed officers, but not enough for every school.
However, Tyree’s family asked why they didn’t make these changes before his murder.
On the day of his death, Tyree’s family told WHAS11 they had already warned the school this was a dangerous bus stop.
Now, Tyree’s family is suing JCPS saying the school knew of threats at the bus stop and did nothing to help.
The lawsuit claims JCPS knew about gang violence among students in the school system and at Eastern High School.
Sherita’s attorney said JCPS was aware of threats of violence between these gangs in the days leading up to his death in September of 2021.
Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio and other Eastern High School officials are named in the lawsuit.
The suit says none of the officials warned parents.
JCPS won’t comment on pending litigation.
Tyree would have turned 17 on Jan. 24, 2022.
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