LMPD cruisers at homicide scene

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville’s homicide rate is on pace to break the record of 173 set in 2020. There have been 151 so far in 2021 with more than three months left in in the year.

And with a majority of the cases unsolved, Louisville Metro Police is more urgently asking for tips from the public. Maj. Tiffany Tatum appealed for help following a shooting Sunday night in the Jacobs neighborhood.

“We can't solve anything without your help," she said. "We need the community to step and help us and be partners in this and help us to gain control of all this violence that is happening in our community."

At a murder scene Friday night in the Park Hill neighborhood, there was another plea from police.

“I know somebody over there saw something,” Maj. Brian Kuriger said. “They've got to come forward and help us. If not, this is going to happen every night. Every night.”

LMPD Chief Erika Shields voiced the frustration after 16-year-old Tyree Smith was shot and killed at his school bus stop.

“The space that we're operating in of not snitching and not cooperating with police when homicides occur has got to end,” she said.

Christopher 2X, of the anti-violence group Game Changers, told WDRB News that many who witness violent crime do want to help but are paralyzed by fear.

“They've got to weigh the balance of the nastiness of violence crime issues,” he said. They've got to weigh the balance of fear, the balance of, 'If I do cooperate, would somebody retaliate on me?'”

2X said appeals from public officials are fine, but the key to breaking the silence may be the survivors of violent crime.

“In my opinion, they are going to be the best voices for this kind of advocacy,” he said.

In fact, Smith’s family spoke to WDRB News on Friday and appealed for help.

“My boy deserves justice,” said his mother, Sherita Smith. “I pray and hope that we find out who did this. I wish they'd turn themselves in. They know who did this. Whoever they were shooting at knows they were shooting at them.”

2X said LMPD’s anonymous tip line, 574-LMPD, does serve a purpose. But he said for it be most effective, police need to do more outreach to the community.

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