LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Wednesday marks two weeks since the deadly drive-by shooting that killed an Eastern High School student and injured two others.
There have been no arrests.
Tyree Smith was shot and killed near his JCPS school bus stop at W.J. Hodge and West Chestnut Street. He died in an early morning drive-by shooting that sent children scattering through the neighborhood.
On Monday Mayor Greg Fischer said information is coming in.
Still, no arrests have been made and city and state officials are continually be asked about Louisville's high rate of gun violence. The city has reached 150 homicides for 2021. September was the city's 20th consecutive month of double-digit homicides and with three more months left in the year, it's possible Louisville could have back-to-back years of its highest number of homicides on record.
“This is a challenge all over the country. You’re seeing gun violence up everywhere and if you put together the amount of guns on the street, illegal guns, people leaving guns in their cars that are being stolen out with the type of poverty we have in America, it’s a really toxic combination," Fischer said.
Both Fischer and Gov. Andy Beshear were attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 29th and West Broadway on Monday about 1 mile away from where Tyree was killed and two other JCPS students were injured during the Sept. 22 shooting.
Beshear was asked about LMPD Chief Erika Shields' support of Jefferson County Public Schools having its own police department, saying in times of crime and tragedy involving young people critical information can often elude a police department not ingrained in the school system.
“I think we’ve got to listen to this community and to understand the impacts of law enforcement and the level of law enforcement in schools. I understand the needs LMPD is talking about but understand every single part of it and that takes a lot of listening.”
Kimberly Moore is the executive director of Joshua Community Connectors, a nonprofit helping young adults in the Russell Neighborhood and beyond overcome mental health, housing and employment barriers.
Moore's front door is half a block from where Tyree was shot and killed nearly two weeks ago.
“One of the things I’ll tell you about this area is people couldn’t come down here if they didn’t have a collaborative spirit," Moore told Spectrum News.
JCC is one of several organizations on the same block working to build up families and helping them avoid or emerge from poverty. The organization also supports young adults during times of crisis.
Moore said there are many examples of neighborhoods in the West End being overlooked by city services and governance.
“Prior to that shooting, we had asked for LMPD to be over here, to be told that they didn't have enough resources for people, for officers to sit on the bus stop. After he was killed, people (sat) on the bus stop for a couple days. We asked for better lighting and we just got a street light and we asked last year," Moore said.
“Community centers are closed. Young people don’t have anything to do and so they are going to get in trouble. Things are going to happen and we have to talk about it, nobody wants to talk about it.”
Moore hopes the distance between area leaders and what's happening on the ground is a gap that’s closing.
“I think we all have to re-evaluate the way we do business to see what we can do to save lives.”