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‘He wasn’t targeted’ — Bus stop shooting victim’s aunts believe nephew was caught in crossfire

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 3:26 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2021 at 3:41 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Family members of the teenage boy shot and killed while waiting at the bus stop told WAVE 3 News their nephew was not targeted in the shooting.

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The shooting happened at the bus stop on the corner of Chestnut and Dr. W.J. Hodge Streets on Wednesday morning.

Sharonda Smith and Charletta Anderson, the aunt and great aunt of the boy who died, told WAVE 3 News his name was Tyree Smith, whom they said was a junior at Eastern High School. He was 16 years old.

“He wasn’t targeted, no,” Smith said.

“It’s just that bus stop been getting shot up, like I just told you, since school started,” Anderson said. “He was caught in the crossfire for whatever reason somebody else might’ve did. He was going to school.”

Smith and Anderson described their nephew as a hard-working kid, someone who held a summer job at Kentucky Kingdom before the school year started. They said he didn’t spend his money on guns and drugs, instead on gifts for his mother and sisters.

They also told WAVE 3 News they did not believe he was affiliated with any gangs, and was merely caught in the crossfire at a bus stop that has been the subject of other shootings in the past. LMPD has not confirmed other shootings there.

“This about the fourth time they f***ing shot up the bus stop, excuse my French,” Anderson said. “We’re very involved in his life and his dealings. Two weeks from school started they shot it up. They told the school they didn’t do nothing. They did it again a week or two later, and then they just did again this morning. That’s unacceptable. Unacceptable.”

Wednesday afternoon, LMPD Chief Erika Shields told reporters Eastern is suffering from a gang problem.

“Is there something afoot at Eastern High School, yes,” Shields said during a news conference. “Do we owe it to the teachers and students to know what is going on there? We have to empower (JCPS Superintendent) Dr. Pollio so he has a fighting chance.”

While elected officials discuss and plan long-term solutions, Tyree Smith’s aunts said they want to see law enforcement make an arrest.

“(I’d like) for his killers to be brought to justice,” Sharonda Smith said.

“So I bet that nobody seen nothing then,” Anderson said. “Nobody never sees nothing ... never.”

Just before noon Wednesday, LMPD tweeted a photo of a gray Jeep with Illinois license plate BD91644 that investigators are trying to track down in relation to the case.

Anyone with information is urged to call LMPD’s anonymous tip line at (502) 574-LMPD.

PLEASE SHARE | Have you seen this gray Jeep? LMPD investigators say it might be connected to this morning's deadly shooting of a child at a bus stop

Posted by WAVE 3 News on Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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