Australian Baseball Star Shot And Killed in Duncan, Oklahoma By ‘Bored’ Teenagers [UPDATED]
A college baseball player attending East Central University was shot and killed Friday afternoon (Aug 16) in Duncan, Oklahoma.
Christopher Lane, a 22-year-old senior from Melbourne, Australia, was jogging through a quiet neighborhood while in Duncan visiting his girlfriend.
Lane was killed by three teenage boys, James Edwards-15 years-old, Chancey Luna 16 years-old and Michael Jones 17-years-old. The boys told police they “were bored” and just wanted to kill for fun. Duncan Police have identified Luna as the shooter.
Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford told the Associated Press on Monday that a woman called 911 after she saw Lane stagger across the road and fall to the ground.
Ford stated that Jones has given him a detailed confession to police.
“They saw Christopher go by, and one of them said: ‘There’s our target,’” Ford said. “The boy who has talked to us said: ‘We were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.’”
The boys were picked up in a church parking lot in a black vehicle. Police searched the car and found a dismantled shotgun, however it is believed that it was not used to kill Lane.
The district attorney has filed for first degree murder charges at the Stephens County District Court. Due to the nature of the crime the boys can be tried as adults, however since they are under the age of 18, they cannot face the death sentence.
Sarah Harper, Lane’s girlfriend, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that the two had returned to the United States from Australia only last week.
“He didn’t deserve any of this,” Harper told the network. “It’s heartbreaking that it was such a random choice those guys made that drastically altered so many lives in the process.”
In the wake of the crime former deputy prime minister of Australia Tim Fischer, has urged Australian citizens to boycott travel in the United States.
Fischer who, led Australia’s gun control reforms with former prime minister John Howard in 1996 believes boycotting travel to the US will help build pressure to have Congress act on creating tougher gun laws.
“I am deeply angry about this because of the callous attitude of the three teenagers (but) it’s a sign of the proliferation of guns on the ground in the USA,” Fischer said. “This is the bitter harvest and legacy of the policies of the NRA that even blocked background checks for people buying guns at gunshows.”
A memorial ceremony was held yesterday at Essendon Baseball Club
Flowers and a baseball were placed on the home plate yesterday morning with a message. “A wonderful young man taken too soon,” it read. “Why?”
Essendon Baseball Club will hold a match against the University of Melbourne on Sunday as a tribute to Lane to raise money for the family.
Update 8/20/13 2:53 P.M: The three teenage boys have now been formally charged.
We can’t escape the fact, as harsh as it may seem, that senseless acts of violence are not just for the big city anymore. My town, Duncan, Oklahoma has been cast into a national and international spotlight for a crime that did not have to be committed.