Child killed, 2 others hurt in bus stop shooting in Kentucky; vehicle sought
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE/Gray News) - One child was killed and two others were wounded in a drive-by shooting at a school bus stop in the Russell neighborhood Wednesday morning.
The shooting happened at Chestnut and Dr. W.J. Hodge streets around 6:20 a.m., WAVE reported.
The aunt and great aunt of the boy who died told WAVE his name was Tyree Smith, whom they said was a junior at Eastern High School in Middletown.
“A teen who should be in school today will not be there and will never be there again,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said at a news conference just after 11 a.m., adding that the boy is the city’s 145th homicide victim of the year.
Just before noon Wednesday, police tweeted a photo of a gray Jeep with Illinois license plate BD91644 that investigators are trying to track down in relation to the case.
Maj. Shannon Lauder said the initial investigation shows a vehicle drove past the area where the students were standing, firing weapons before speeding away. Smith and another teen student were struck by gunfire. The third was injured by “unknown means” and declined medical attention, Lauder said.
Smith and the other teen who was shot were taken to hospitals by emergency medical services. Smith died after reaching the hospital. Police said the injuries to the second teen, whose identity was not immediately available, are not life-threatening.
Lauder said other students were at the bus stop at the time of the shooting, but they were not injured.
Schools spokeswoman Renee Murphy said the bus was picking up students from Eastern High School in Middletown. Murphy said the bus arrived at the location moments after the shooting.
Smith’s great aunt said that that bus stop had been shot up during the first week of school, but that has not been confirmed by law enforcement.
The boy’s aunt said her nephew wasn’t targeted, that he was caught in the crossfire.
“Between school and work and his mother, you in the bed by 10 o’clock,” his aunt said, noting that her nephew was a junior at Eastern.
Metro Councilman Anthony Piagentini, who represents District 19, where Eastern High School is located, went to the shooting scene Wednesday morning and addressed reporters there:
“This is about as bad as it gets for it to be children,” he said. “Waiting at a bus stop, heading to school is about the lowest that this city can get.”
Piagentini called on Mayor Greg Fischer and even suggested federal help is needed to curb the city’s gun violence.
“I’ve already called on the mayor, and I’m calling on him now,” he said. “We need to call in any resources we can -- FBI, federal agents, state police, National Guard.”
At Wednesday’s news conference, Police Chief Erika Shields said the department already has been working with federal agencies on the city’s rise in gun violence this year, calling the FBI and ATF “phenomenal,” but noting that Wednesday’s tragedy is particularly difficult given that the victim is a teen who was waiting for his school bus.
“This one’s a hard one,” Shields said.
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