'Mama, I got shot': Community reeling after teen killed in drive-by shooting at school bus stop

Over 3,000 young Americans 17 and under were shot in 2021; among them, nearly 600 children 11 and younger.

ABCNews logo
Thursday, September 23, 2021
16-year-old boy killed, 2 kids hurt in shooting at school bus stop
Louisville authorities are searching for a gray Jeep involved in a drive-by shooting that killed 16-year-old Tyree Smith at a school bus stop.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A 16-year-old boy was killed and two other children were hurt in a shooting at a school bus stop in Louisville, Kentucky, Wednesday morning, according to police.

The three children were waiting for a bus when they were shot in a drive-by at about 6:30 a.m. local time, police said.

One of the injured kids, a 14-year-old boy, is in the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said. The other survivor, a 14-year-old girl, was treated for minor injuries at the scene, police said. The school bus arrived shortly after the "traumatic" slaying, and a bus stop for middle schoolers was close by.

"I had to hold a little boy's wound today and tell him he's gonna be OK," Mark Pence, a witness to the shooting, told WHAS-TV.

Police are looking for the occupants of a grey Jeep they say was in the area at the time of the shooting.

The boy who died was identified as Tyree Smith, a junior at Eastern High School.

"My child is 16 years old. He got great grades, he got a strong family background ... So what am I supposed to do when I guide my son down the right path and he gets killed and hurt by senseless violence?" Tyree's mother, Sherita Smith, said during a vigil Wednesday evening.

Sherita Smith said she spoke to her son over the phone moments before his death.

"My son walked out the door at 6:15. He called me at 6:18 and said, 'Mama, I got shot," she said.

Wednesday's violence is the latest symptom of a nation experiencing a dramatic spike in shootings that began two years ago.

So far this year, 43,000 people were shot in the U.S., compared to 40,000 at the same time in 2020.

Young children and teenagers are routinely wounded. Over 3,000 young people 17 and under were shot in 2021; among them, nearly 600 children 11 and younger.

Just two weeks ago, a 3-year-old boy was fatally shot in his Charlotte, North Carolina, home after more than 100 rounds were fired.

This marked Louisville's 145th homicide of the year, officials said.

Louisville Metropolitan Police Chief Erika Shields called it a "heinous crime."

Shields said the city is tackling gun violence and "getting violent felons off the street daily." However, she added, "the availability of illegal guns is just so widespread. "

ABC Owned TV Stations contributed to this report.