When three Oklahoma youths — Chancey Luna, 15, James Edwards, 16, and Michael Jones, 17 — got together last Friday, they were looking for a little excitement, something to perk up an otherwise lazy summer afternoon. They thought about going out for a slice of pizza, but decided against it. They considered taking in a movie but they had seen all the features currently showing in the sleepy town of Duncan. Finally, the boys hit upon a plan to chase away the blahs: They would shoot someone and watch him die.
Which is precisely what they proceeded to do. Their victim, 22-year-old Chris Lane (pictured here), a college student from Australia, was jogging alongside a road when Luna, the suspected shooter, planted a few rounds in his back.
Duncan police Chief Danny Ford told ABC News, “They were bored and just wanted to see somebody die.” Chris Lane just happened be the handiest target.
Lane, who attended East Central University on a baseball scholarship, was in town visiting his girlfriend. He was eventually discovered lying in a pool of blood and rushed to a local hospital, where he died shortly after arriving.
While no one witnessed the shooting, Ford said several people heard a gunshot and reported seeing a black car speed away from the area. Surveillance video from several businesses enabled authorities to get a bead on the suspects’ vehicle. The three were apprehended a few hours after the shooting when police received a phone call stating, “there were three juveniles at a house with guns and wanting to kill somebody.”
Ford told reporters that the teens were initially uncooperative but that “after questioning them and getting consent to search the car, we found evidence that made us believe they were involved."
Luna, Edwards, and Jones have all been charged with first-degree murder.
Their remedy for boredom on a Friday afternoon certainly woke up the town of 24,000. Ford says he can’t recall the last time there was a murder there. "I don't think we average one a year. Basically, we're a rural Oklahoma community."
Peter Lane, the victim’s father, told the Sydney Morning Herald his son was "a kid on the cusp of making his life." He added:
There's not going to be any good come out of this because it was just so senseless. He was an athlete going for a jog like he would do five or six days a week in terms of his training schedule. It's happened, it's wrong and we just try and deal with it the best we can.
So here are the questions that crave answers: Will this senseless crime put the town of Duncan on the map in the same way the Trayvon Martin shooting made Sanford, Fla., famous? Will Chris Lane become a folk hero in whose name candle-lit vigils and protest marches will be held? Will the three suspects be excoriated by the mainstream media, and will their families receive death threats from Down Under? Will Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and Benjamin Jealous speechify about a promising life cut short, and will a fuller investigation be demanded? And finally, will the president of the United States say anything about this crime or its victim — anything at all?
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