LMPD tight lipped after arrest of two teens charged in school bus stop murder

Sherita Smith and her son, Tyree Smith
Sherita Smith and her son, Tyree Smith(Sherita Smith)
Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 1:23 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2021 at 2:52 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - LMPD Chief Erika Shields spoke with the media Thursday after two people were arrested in the murder of 16-year-old Tyree Smith, killed waiting for his school bus back in September.

Shields was joined by Mayor Greg Fischer and Lt. Donny Burbrink, the LMPD Homicide Unit commander. Burbrink said both juveniles arrested in the case are 16 years old and are JCPS students. They’re facing charges of complicity to murder, complicity to assault 1st degree and complicity to assault 2nd degree.

The commonwealth’s attorney’s office told WAVE 3 News the charges still carry the same legal penalties as murder and assault, but ‘complicity’ was added because the two acted together during the crime. In addition, the office wrote it is still in the early stages of determining whether the two teens should be tried as adults.

Information is extremely limited in this case, as is customary when juvenile offenders are involved.

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Information is extremely limited in this case, as is customary when juvenile offenders are involved.

Police also thanked JCPS security staff for information that led them to an arrest, but wouldn’t comment on what that information was or a potential motive.

Tyree was a student at Eastern High School. Metro police say both teens arrested were also JCPS students.

“I will comment that they were JCPS students,” Lt. Burbrink explained, “but as far as information provided by the JCPS Security staff or any other information shared with us in this investigation, I cannot nor will I answer any more information on that.”

JCPS issued the following statement to WAVE 3 News regarding the arrests:

“What happened to Tyree Smith was tragic and left our JCPS family heartbroken. His death impacted our entire community and raised awareness about the need for change. Youth violence is an issue we all must address. There is no single solution, or perfect answer. But through collaboration and unity we can find new avenues to bring hope to young people across our city.”

Shields said she’s proud of her departments diligent work, but added it’s work they shouldn’t have to be doing.

“We should not be standing here today,” Shields said. “To the family of Tyree Smith: I’m sorry we’re here but hopefully in some small way, the arrest of your son’s murderers will bring you a morsel of relief.”

Fischer says every single department within metro government is focused on gun violence, getting guns off the street and holding people accountable for their violent acts.

As for the case of Tyree Smith, police did not say whether there are more suspects; Officers added it is an ongoing investigation and will be until it is settled or tried.

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