Advertisement

‘That child was scared to death’: Veteran helped student shot at Russell school bus stop

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 5:23 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - 16-year-old Tyree Smith waited for his school bus early Wednesday when he was shot at the corner of Chestnut Street and Dr. WJ Hodge Street in Russell and later died. Two other students were also shot but survived.

Local community members stood together at the same bus stop the next morning to show children they are willing to keep them safe. The corner was illuminated by candles.

PREVIOUS STORIES

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

+ $10,000 reward announced in deadly bus-stop shooting of Louisville teen

+ ‘Mama I got shot,’ grieving mother recalls dying son’s final words

+ ‘JCPS has to have its own police department, no two ways about it,’ LMPD chief says

+ Bus stop shooting victim’s aunts believe nephew was caught in crossfire, not targeted

+ LMPD looking for Jeep with Illinois plates after teen shot dead at bus stop

+ Councilman’s impassioned plea to city: ‘Everyone in Louisville is responsible for Louisville’

Mark Pence said the neighborhood was once filled with hope, persistence, and love.

“I’m never going to forget what happened yesterday,” Pence said. “Never going to forget having someone else’s blood on my hoodie.”

Smith, another boy and a girl were the victims of Wednesday morning’s crime that Pence said has changed his life forever. He said as a Marine Corps veteran, he’s prepared for combat, oversees, but not at a school bus stop.

“I had to use my skills that I used in the United States Marine Corps for a child who’s been shot,” he said.

He said he helped the second boy who was shot before police arrived.

“I’m going to wake up every day for the rest of my life at 6:20,” he said. “That child was scared to death. I had to tell him for 20 minutes, ‘You’re cool, God’s got this. You’re going to live. You’re going to be OK.”

Pence said at every corner, every child deserves to have a fair chance at life and go to school.

(Story continues below photo)

Tyree Smith, seen in this screengrab that's been widely passed around social media, died after...
Tyree Smith, seen in this screengrab that's been widely passed around social media, died after being shot at his school bus stop Wednesday morning.(Provided)

Shanita Phillps said she complained to Eastern High School, where the students go to school, about their safety at the bus stop.

“I’m always concerned about this corner either when school is in or school is out,” Phillips said. “It’s just too much going on.”

She said she thanks God her son Siahsean wasn’t there by chance Wednesday.

“He just so happens to be running late, thank God,” Phillips said. “So, once he got to the bus stop, he called me saying he couldn’t get to the bus stop. ... I asked why, (and) he said, ‘There’s just yellow tape everywhere.’ He didn’t know what happened.”

Siahsean said he knows his mother does everything she can to protect him from the dangers of the world. Wednesday showed him sometimes even with all her love, it can’t block out everything.

“Makes me scared,” Siahsean said.

Pence said as a Marine Corps veteran, he’s prepared for combat, oversees, but not at a school bus stop.

“I had to use my skills that I used in the United States Marine Corps for a child who’s been shot,” he said.

Pence said at every corner, every child deserves to have a fair chance at life and go to school.

On Thursday morning, parents, students, and community members made it clear that they are tired of waiting for the Louisville Metro Police Department and the City of Louisville to act.

Copyright 2021 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.