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‘Mama I got shot,’ grieving mother recalls dying son’s final words

The mother of a teen shot and killed by a drive-by shooter at his bus stop Wednesday morning...
The mother of a teen shot and killed by a drive-by shooter at his bus stop Wednesday morning prayed with community supporters 12 hours later.(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 6:50 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2021 at 11:39 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The mother of a teen shot and killed by a drive-by shooter at his bus stop Wednesday morning prayed with community supporters 12 hours later.

A WAVE 3 News camera crew captured a crowd of several dozen people, including one person burning sage, surrounding the grieving mother of 16-year-old Tyree Smith, a junior at Eastern High School.

The crowd gathered at Chestnut and Dr. W.J. Hodge streets, where Smith was shot at 6:30 a.m. He was rushed to a hospital, where he died a short time later.

“My son left out of my door at 6:15,” Sherita Smith told the crowd. “He called me at 6:18 and said, ‘Mama, I got shot.”

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Smith also said she tried her best to provide for her kids and teach them the right way to do things.

“I’m not a parent to let their kids to go out carrying guns,” she said. “I want everybody to know that. I teach my kids the right thing. I tell them, ‘You help somebody. You see somebody that needs a dollar, you give it to him.’”

Surrounded by an emotional crowd of supporters as rain drizzled down on Louisville on Wednesday evening, Smith said her son cut his friends’ hair on weekends and held down a job while attending school.

“It’s nothing that you should need in this world that you got to turn to the streets for,” she said. “So my kids work for everything they need.”

Smith closed with a question for the group, one being asked all too frequently in recent years, particularly this year in Louisville, where Smith’s homicide was the city’s 145th this year.

“What am I supposed to do when I’m guiding my son down the right path, and he gets killed and hurt by senseless violence?”

Neighbors and community leaders hugged Smith and promised action.

“We’re going to come together. Not everyone will be working individually,” Dannisha Rivers said. “The organizations will not be working as ‘this is just my organization and I live on the east side and I live on the nice side or I live in Newburg or I live in the West End. No. We’re all going to come together now and we’re all going to do this in a unified way.”

People are asking the entire Russell neighborhood to gather at the bus stop at 6 a.m. on Thursday to support the students who witnessed the tragedy.

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