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Mother of slain JCPS teen complained about school bus stop before her son’s shooting death

Sherita Smith and her son, Tyree Smith
Sherita Smith and her son, Tyree Smith(Sherita Smith)
Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 7:47 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 24, 2021 at 12:26 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The mother of 16-year-old Tyree Smith who was gunned down while waiting for his bus stop is haunted by her son’s last words.

“I’m hurt,” Sherita Smith said. “I don’t know what my next move is. … He said ‘Momma.’ Like, a disturbing ‘Momma.’ So, I said, ‘What?’ He said, ‘I’m shot,’ and he said, ‘Get over here now,’ and I said, ‘OK, here I come,’ and he said, ‘I’m dying.’”

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Smith’s last image of her first-born son was of him lying on the ground at the same JCPS bus stop she said she had complained to Eastern High School and Jefferson County Public Schools about after a previous shooting there.

“Whoever I talked to on the phone said, ‘We’re in a meeting right now. We’re handling it. We’re going to get JCPS security out on the bus stops every morning,’” Smith said. “If that’s the case, my son would be here.”

According to data from LMPD about that bus stop at Dr. W.J. Hodge Street, there have been 13 reports of assaults, five drug reports, three thefts, and three stolen vehicles. That’s within the last 28 days and within 1,500 feet of the stop.

“Your kid ain’t even safe, and this is where you think my son should get on the bus at?” Smith asked.

She said they were good parents who made sure their son did his homework, knew who his friends were, had strict rules at home, followed curfew, and had a part time job.

“They said he was at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Tyree Smith’s stepfather Eric Shirley said. “That’s nonsense. He was at school, on a school bus, on his way to school.”

“For him to have to call and say, ‘Momma, I’m dying,’ what is that?” Shirley said. “What’s that mean? Nobody grasps that at 6 o’clock in the morning. You don’t take a hold of that. That’s a curveball — that’s a what, what just happened?”

The parents said they did their best and considered themselves good parents, but the violence in Louisville was simply too much and took their son too early.

“I’m angry, I’m confused, and I’m mind blown,” Smith said.

The grieving mother is urging other parents to be responsible, to watch over their children’s rooms, their cellphones, where they are, and who their friends are.

“If I don’t want a bad kid in this world,” she said, “then I’m going to do everything I need for my kid to be right. To do the right thing.”

WAVE 3 News reached out to JCPS for comment about Smith’s complaint about the bus stop and are waiting to hear back.

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