Shock as Australian baseballer gunned down by US teens
SYDNEY — An Australian family was Monday struggling to come to terms with the “senseless” death of their baseballer son in a random drive-by shooting by three teenagers in the United States.
Chris Lane, 22, was in the US on a baseball scholarship and was jogging in the small town of Duncan in Oklahoma when he was shot in the back on Friday and left to die on the side of the road.
Three teenagers aged 15, 16 and 17 were arrested and face the death penalty, Danny Ford, chief of Duncan Police Department, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“He apparently was jogging. He went by a residence where these three boys were, they picked him as a target, they went out and got in a vehicle and followed him,” Ford said.
“Came up from behind and basically shot him in the back with a small calibre weapon, then sped away.”
The killing made headlines in Australia and in a separate interview with Australian Associated Press, Ford said it appeared the teenagers were on a “killing spree” after leaving a chilling message on Facebook.
“They wanted to be Billy Bob Badasses,” he said.
“I think they were on a killing spree. We would have had more bodies that night if we didn’t get them.”
AAP reported that on one of the alleged killer’s Facebook pages, investigators found the message: “Bang. Two drops in two hours.”
Lane’s devastated father Peter said his death was so pointless.
“There’s not going to be any good come out of this because it was just so senseless,” he told reporters in Melbourne.
“There wasn’t anything he did or could have done. He was an athlete going for a jog like he would do five or six days a week in terms of his training schedule.
“He was just a kid on the cusp of making his life. To try and understand it is a short way to insanity.”
On its website, Baseball Australia said it was “deeply saddened to hear of the tragic passing of Chris Lane, a very talented and bright young player.”