Teenage gun violence advocate killed in crash memorialized on 17th birthday
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Family and friends gathered on Thursday to honor the memory of Ki’Anthony Tyus, a young gun violence advocate killed in a car crash, on what would have been his 17th birthday.
Ki’Anthony is being memorialized with a bench in his name, located at Waterfront Park near the Big Four Bridge.
In 2015, Ki’Anthony was shot while he was playing basketball near Ballard Park. Ki’Anthony, who was 9 at the time, survived the drive-by shooting and became an activist against gun violence.
Three years later, Ki’Anthony was a passenger in a stolen SUV on Dec. 22, 2018. His family claims he was just getting a ride to the store and did not know it was stolen.
The driver of the SUV, Reco Smith, was accused of speeding away from officers on I-65 who attempted to pull over the stolen vehicle.
Smith crashed the SUV on Fern Valley Road following the pursuit. Ki’Anthony was killed in the crash.
Ki’Anthony’s family said it’s been a blessing to continue his legacy and keep his memory alive.
“I’m just overwhelmed you know, and just happy and grateful that I’m still here to keep his name in the community and out in the world,” Tina Tyus, Ki’Anthony’s grandmother said.
Smith was charged with murder, and his case is still active in Jefferson Circuit Court.
Ki’Anthony’s family filed a lawsuit against LMPD and the officer who started the pursuit. The city settled the suit in 2021 for $600,000.
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