Protesters identify homicide victim as Kris Smith, who helped lead recent marches

Protesters identify homicide victim as Kris Smith, who helped lead recent marches

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - His family and friends say despite his past, Kris Smith, also known as Kris Roc, was a leader, and only wanted the best for his protest community.

During a vigil, his long-time friend, Montez Jones, reflected on their friendship.

“We done been incarcerated, did time together,” Jones explained. “Me and him both, but who am I to judge that? And look what happened, he got out and wanted to take a stance.”

It’s been a little more than two weeks since protesters lost another prominent member of their group.

”We still mourning Travis (Nagdy),” Jones said.

Smith, 42, was known for his livestream coverage of this year’s protests. He was on Facebook Live when the National Guard fired a deadly shot at David McAtee during the early days of protests, a popular restaurant owner in West Louisville.

On Friday at about 11:30 a.m., LMPD responded to a shooting in the Portland neighborhood at 26th and Duncan streets. When officers arrived, they found Smith shot inside a vehicle. He was rushed to University Hospital, where he died a short time later.

LMPD investigators are now asking for the community’s help in finding the person who killed Smith.

The vehicle is a black, four-door Dodge Ram, late model, trimmed in chrome and may have tires in the back. LMPD said the vehicle was occupied by two black men at the times of the shooting.

Chris Wells, another long-time friend, said he’d known Smith for nearly 20 years, adding that Smith had been making changes in his life.

“He changed his life for the good, for the community and for us,” Wells said. “For him to be gone, it’s devastating.”

As Louisville’s protest family mourns Nagdy and now Smith, they are also hoping for justice.

”Ain’t no arrest been made, the only arrest that was made was on (protest photographer) Tyler Gerth …,” Jones added. “Other than that, Travis, they ain’t got nobody, and look at Kris, they ain’t got nobody.”

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