OKLAHOMA CITY-- An Australian baseball player out for a jog in an Oklahoma neighborhood was shot and killed by three “bored” teenagers who decided to kill someone for fun, police said.
Christopher Lane, who was visiting the town of Duncan, where his girlfriend and her family live, had passed a home where the boys were staying and that apparently led to him being gunned down at random, Police Chief Danny Ford said Monday.
Prosecutors charged 15-year-old James Francis Edwards Jr. and 16-year-old Chancey Allen Luna with first-degree murder on Tuesday. Police say the two killed 22-year-old Christopher Lane on Friday to overcome boredom. Under Oklahoma law, anyone who is 15 or older and facing a first-degree murder charge is automatically tried in adult court.
Also Tuesday, 17-year-old Michael Dewayne Jones was charged with being an accessory after the fact and with using a vehicle during the discharge of weapon. Jones is charged as a youthful offender but will still have his case heard in adult court.
No bond was set for the younger boys. Bond was set at $1 million for Jones.
Ford said a 17-year-old defendant, Jones, told officers that the three teenagers were bored and shot Lane for “the fun of it.”
Jones said in open court “I pulled the trigger,” but the judge directed him to remain quiet, saying Tuesday was not the day to discuss the facts of the case.
The boy cried.
“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.’”
He said they followed the 22-year-old Lane, a student from Melbourne attending college on a baseball scholarship, in a car and shot him in the back before driving off.
Lane’s father, Peter Lane, told media in Australia: “There’s not gonna be any good to come out of this cause it was just so senseless.”
Lane’s American girlfriend also is struggling with the incident.
“He didn’t deserve any of this,” Lane’s girlfriend, Sarah Harper, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “It’s heartbreaking that it was such a random choice those guys made that drastically altered so many lives in the process.”
Witnesses rushed to help Lane after hearing a shot Friday and seeing him stagger and collapse on a road in Duncan, a south-central Oklahoma town of about 24,000 residents.
“He was face down on the ground and he was shot in the back with a .22 revolver,” builder Richard Rhodes told Australian broadcasters near a roadside memorial at the scene. “I had another lady stop and we tried CPR on him. And he passed away right here.”
Harper said she and Lane had only returned to the United States from Australia last week.
A memorial to Christopher Lane is shown Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, along the road where he was shot and killed, in Duncan, Okla. Lane, an Australian who was on a baseball scholarship at East Central University in Ada, Okla., was in Duncan visiting his girlfriend, when he was shot and killed Friday, Aug. 16, 2013.
Lane attended East Central University in Ada, about 85 miles west of Duncan. He started 14 games at catcher last year and was entering his senior year.
“He was an absolute joy to coach,” baseball coach Dino Rosato said in a statement issued by the school. “Chris was an extremely well-respected teammate. ... He set a great example for all of his teammates, but more importantly for the younger players. He was a mature student-athlete who his teammates could look to for advice and support.”
In his native Australia, an impromptu memorial grew at the home plate he protected as a catcher on his youth team.
Ford wouldn’t say how many times Christopher Lane was shot. Autopsy results are pending.
One of the suspect’s mothers told CBS affiliate KWTV in Oklahoma City her son and his friends were in a “wannabe gang.” Police told KWTV the suspects may have killed an animal prior to shooting Lane, and that they planned on killing more people.