The senseless murder of Australian student and baseball player Chris Lane may have been gang-related, the father of a 17-year-old in Oklahoma told the Herald Sun.
James Johnson, 52, claims the three teenagers charged in the killing were in the Crips gang in Duncan, Okla. He also says his son, Christopher, told him one of the accused teenagers was going to kill him as well.
"My son called me and said, 'They're saying they're coming to kill me' so I called the police and they got here within about three minutes," the father told the Herald Sun.
Johnson claims he eventually called police and told them that the accused murderers were hiding in the car park at Immanuel Baptist Church at around 5 p.m., two hours after they reportedly shot Lane. It was unclear in the reports how he knew of their whereabouts.
James Edwards, 15, and Chancey Luna, 16, have been charged with first degree murder in the case. They both face life in prison if convicted and are being held without bond. Michael Jones, 17, has been charged with using a vehicle to facilitate the discharge of a weapon and accessory after the fact of murder in the first degree.
This combination made with booking photos provided by the Stephens County, Okla., Sheriffs Department, shows, from left, James Francis Edwards Jr., 15, Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, and Chancey Allen Luna, 16, all of Duncan, Okla. The three teenagers have been charged in connection with the killing of 22-year-old Australian collegiate baseball player Christopher Lane, 22. Luna and Edwards were charged with first-degree murder and, under Oklahoma law, will be tried as adults. Jones was accused of using a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and accessory to first-degree murder after the fact. He is considered a youthful offender but will be tried in adult court. Credit: AP
Johnson says Edwards threatened to kill his son on Facebook "because they are in a gang, the Crips, and were trying to get my son in it and I wouldn't let him do it."
He said the Crips gang in Duncan, Okla., where the murder occurred, is made up of teenage "wannabes." The gang has been in the city for the last few years.
"I've been living here all my life and we never had this, but in the past few years gangs from Lawton have been coming here," Johnson said of the Crips gang.
Johnson's son, Christopher, reportedly attends Duncan High School, where Edwards and Luna were both students. The father said he knew of both boys and referred to them as "troublemakers" and "bullies" who had "no parental supervision," according to the Herald Sun.
While the new revelations fail to make the murder any less senseless, it does provide investigators a possible motive related to gang activity in the area.
"With one of the boy’s mothers in jail and the other's stepfather having died last year, many are connecting their online behavior- where they boast about killing and post videos posing with rifles- with the growing gang presence in the area," the Daily Mail observes of the suspects.
Click here to listen to the chilling 911 call made after Lane was shot dead.
(H/T: Daily Mail)