16-year-old Tyree Smith was killed in a drive-by shooting at a Louisville bus stop on Wednesday morning, according to local authorities.
Two other teenagers, a 14-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl, were also injured and sent to the hospital, but are expected to make a full recovery. Neither of the other two victims’ identities have been revealed by the police.
According to ABC News, the three teenagers were waiting for a school bus at 6:30 a.m. when they were shot as part of a drive-by shooting, with the suspects still at large. The school bus arrived shortly after the shooting.
“I mean, you all probably interview a lot of families who are like, ‘I can’t believe this happened,'” Tyree Smith’s aunt told local reporters. “You know, he didn’t hurt nobody, he didn’t do anything. They can be out in God knows what, but I’m telling you, my nephew wasn’t. He didn’t have that time on his hands.”
Although the other two students have yet to be identified, Tyree Smith and the other teenagers have been confirmed by Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Marty Pollio to be students at the local Louisville Eastern High School.
“This is one of our toughest days at Jefferon County Public School,” superintendent Marty Pollio wrote on Twitter. “We have suffered another devastating loss to senseless gun violence.”
“Our hearts go out to the family of the Eastern HS student whose life was ended,” he continued, and for those wondering, “we are providing support for the students.”
“It is critical that we act together to make sure that our children are safe and that no child again stands at a bus stop and has to face fear like this,” Pollio’s statement concluded. A student in the area told reporters that it was a “bad day for anxiety.”
According to Louisville Metropolitan Police Chief Erika Shields, the “heinous crime” was Louisville’s 145th homicide this year alone.
“The availability of illegal guns is just so widespread,” she said, though the city is doing everything it can to tackle gun violence and remove “violent felons” from causing harm to innocent students.
“Our hearts break this morning with the news of the senseless violence targeting children waiting for a school bus,” Louisville’s FBI unit tweeted in response Wednesday morning. “This is unacceptable.”
Special Agent Shawn Morrow, reporting out of Louisville’s FBI office, said that “No young person should have to live in an environment where they’re afraid of violence, and no community should have to live in fear that their children could be victimized while waiting on a school bus.”
Investigators urged anyone with information about the incident to call the Louisville Metro Police Department at (502)-574-LMPD. No motive has been revealed, and it’s unclear why the three teenagers were targeted at the Louisville bus stop. Potential suspects have also not been identified at this time.
“Tyree Smith, a 16-year-old junior from Eastern High School never made it to class today, after he was killed in a drive-by shooting at his bus stop at Chestnut and Dr. WJ Hodge,” local WHAS11 reporter Brooke Hasch revealed at the scene. A neighbor nearby told her that they, “had to hold the wound of a little boy and tell him he was going to be okay.”
Local police are searching for a 2019 Grey Jeep Cherokee with the license number BD91966, which they believe to be connected to the Louisville bus stop shooting. Photos of the vehicle was captured by CCTV cameras turning at a stop light in the area of Wednesday morning’s homicide.
“As a father and a grandfather, this breaks my heart,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “Even the most caring words seem inadequate in offering solace to a family suffering such irreplaceable loss.”