Christopher Lane, an Australian baseball player who was attending East Central University in Oklahoma on a full athletic scholarship, was shot and killed on Monday in what is being deemed a random act of violence. The 22 year old was found dead in the town of Duncan, Okla., where his girlfriend and her family live.
Three boys ages 15, 16, and 17 have been taken into custody in connection with the murder. Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford said the 17-year-old has given a full detailed confession, telling police that the teens shot Lane for no reason at all.
“They saw Christopher go by, and one of them said: ‘There’s our target,’” Ford said, via ESPN.com. “The boy who has talked to us said: ‘We were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.’
“They followed him in the car to that area, shot him in the back and drove off.”
Another one of the teens reportedly told Ford that they shot Lane “for the fun of it.” Most teenagers play video games or go to the mall when they’re bored, but these three twisted individuals are clearly not most teenagers. All three are expected to face first-degree murder charges on Tuesday, though it is not known whether they will be charged as juveniles or adults.
A woman reportedly called 911 when she saw Lane stagger across the road after he had been shot. Witnesses, one of them builder Richard Rhodes, rushed to his aid.
“He was face down on the ground and he was shot in the back,” Rhodes explained. “I had another lady stop and we tried CPR on him. And he passed away right here.”
Lane’s girlfriend Sarah Harper told the Australian Broadcasting Group that the two had just returned to the United States from Australia last week.
“He didn’t deserve any of this,” Harper said. “It’s heartbreaking that it was such a random choice those guys made that drastically altered so many lives in the process.”
Harper started 14 games at catcher last season for East Central University and was entering his senior season. His coach, Dino Rosato, described Lane as “a joy to coach” and a “mature student-athlete.” Our thoughts are with Lane’s family and friends during this senselessly tragic time.