A 42-year-old Breonna Taylor activist was fatally shot in Kentucky weeks after the death of an organizer who was half his age
- A known protester who attended Breonna Taylor protests in Louisville, Kentucky died on Friday, the Louisville Courier-Journal first reported.
- Kris Smith, 42, was identified by a close associate and local chaplain, according to the Courier-Journal.
- Another prominent Louisville activist against racial injustice, 21-year-old Hamza "Travis" Nagdy, was fatally shot last month, as the Courier-Journal reported in November.
A notable Breonna Taylor protester who attended demonstrations in Louisville, Kentucky was fatally shot on Friday, the Louisville Courier-Journal first reported. The second activist in recent weeks reported by the local newspaper.
The fatal shooting of Taylor - a 26-year-old EMT who was killed by Lousiville police during a botched drug raid at her home in March - ignited a fight against racial injustice in Louisville.
Business owner and activist Kris Smith, 42, was the victim of one of two shootings that occurred on Friday, Stachelle Bussey, a local chaplain, told the Lousiville Courier-Journal. Bussey assisted Smith's wife as she identified the activist's body at a hospital, according to the report. Louisville police have yet to identify Smith but reported a wounded body in a car Friday afternoon, according to the newspaper.
According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Smith recorded live streams and footage during protests over the death of Breonna Taylor. "Just like everybody else, he was finding his niche, finding his voice" at the protests, Bussey told the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Smith's untimely passing comes after the death of another known Breonna Taylor activist, 21-year-old Hamza "Travis" Nagdy, who died after a shooting on November 23, as the Courier-Journal reported. Those associated with Nagdy told the newspaper that he was "irreplaceable" and was looked upon as a pillar in the community.
"We're mourning one, then we lose another," Bussey said. "With Travis, I lost a brother. Today we lost another one."
"Travis Nagdy, a young leader committed to the fight for justice, is gone," Charles Booker, Kentucky state representative, tweeted in November. "As we marched for Breonna Taylor, it was often Travis and his megaphone leading the way. A bullet took his breath, but we still hear his voice."
Smith and Nagdy were shot at locations in Louisville that are about six miles apart (Smith in the 200 block of North 26th Street and Nagdy in the 2100 block of Crittenden Drive). Police are still looking into suspects for both shootings and a spokesperson of the Louisville Metro Police Department told the outlet that "nothing to indicate the two homicides are related and no motives at this point," according to the Courier-Journal.
Smith and Nagdy's deaths have been compared to the loss of activists from previous racial justice protests.
Activists and leaders who were at the forefront of protests for Michael Brown- an 18-year-old who was fatally killed by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer in 2014 - have previously spoken out about receiving threats, even years after it happened, according to the Associated Press.
At least six men connected to Ferguson protests had died within years of the civil unrest that shook the city and parts of the country, according to the report. Two out of the six were burned in cars in separate instances and no suspects were taken into custody in connection to their deaths, according to the Associated Press. Police said there wasn't evidence supporting speculation that any of the deaths were connected to the Ferguson protests.
—Shante Wolfe (@moreaboutsumn) December 12, 2020
"Something is happening," Cori Bush, a Ferguson activist and now Missouri's first Black female representative, told the AP last year. "I've been vocal about the things that I've experienced and still experience - the harassment, the intimidation, the death threats, the death attempts."
The Louisville Police Department did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.
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