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Teen’s grieving mother: ‘When I had him I became a better person’

The mother of Tyree Smith gave a heartbreakingly raw interview to WAVE 3 News on Thursday,...
The mother of Tyree Smith gave a heartbreakingly raw interview to WAVE 3 News on Thursday, barely more than 24 hours after her teenage son was gunned down by a drive-by shooter’s bullet.(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 2:47 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The mother of Tyree Smith gave a heartbreakingly raw interview to WAVE 3 News on Thursday, barely more than 24 hours after her teenage son was gunned down by a drive-by shooter’s bullet.

Sherita Smith spoke candidly about her first-born son, Tyree Smith, a 16-year-old junior at Eastern High School.

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“When I had him I became a better person,” she said about her son, who was waiting for his bus early Wednesday morning in west Louisville when he and two other teens were shot.

Tyree Smith was rushed to a hospital, where he died. The two others are expected to be OK.

“It’s been painful,” his mother said about the last 24 hours. “I think I got two hours of sleep.”

Smith said her daughter was with Tyree Smith at the bus stop when the shooting happened. Then she remembered getting a phone call from her son moments after he was shot.

“He said, ‘I’m dying,’” she said. “And I said, ‘No, you’re not. I’m on my way.’”

As she did during a rally with friends, family and supporters at the shooting site Wednesday evening, Smith proudly described her son’s work ethic and good nature.

“My kid walked the straight and narrow,” she said. “My son was not a thug in these streets. Only time he had time to be with people was at school or on the bus. He didn’t keep bad friends. He wasn’t hanging with boys that carry guns.”

Smith also said she got a call from JCPS and a visit from LMPD Chief Erika Shields to express their condolences. She then measured her words while demanding a solution to the violence epidemic that has plagued Louisville in recent years. Her son was the city’s 145th homicide victim of the year.

“Nobody wants to take the responsibility,” she said. “I need answers. They need to tell me something.”

Hear more from Smith on WAVE 3 News tonight at 5 and 6.

Copyright 2021 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.