Evildoers may have pointlessly ended Chris Lane's life, but good people came to his aid and gathered around him until he took his final breath on a Duncan, Okla., roadside.
Contractor Richard Rhodes, 37, was working with Lindsey Moore painting a house near the shooting. Rhodes heard a popping noise and said to Moore "that sounds like a gunshot." Heading outside to investigate, Rhodes said he saw a small black car speeding away, figured it may have been a tire blowout, and went to assist.
It was then he saw Lane lying face-down on the side of the road, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. Lifting Lane's shirt, Rhodes saw a gunshot wound high on the left side of his back.
"He has been shot," Rhodes called out to Joyce Smith, the Morning Herald says, who had observed Lane staggering then falling to his knees and finally pitching forward. She was on the phone with 911, concerned that he may be on drugs.
"I was like this, telling him, 'Buddy, stay with us, stay with us,'" Rhodes recalls, adding that he tried to keep Lane conscious, but he'd go many seconds without breathing, suddenly awake and gasp, then go quiet again. Another woman pulled over to help.
"He's been shot, we're fixing to lose him," Rhodes told the woman.
Then nothing. No breathing. No pulse. They rolled Lane over; the woman began chest compressions as Rhodes breathed into Lane's mouth, the Morning Herald says.
After a few minutes the woman said to Rhodes, "Honey, he's gone."
She reached up and closed Lane's eyes with her fingertips. Rhodes took off his T-shirt and laid it over Lane's face.
This is how police found Lane moment later—surrounded by a trio of Samaritans.
Still Lane's murder has jarred Duncan badly, the Morning Herald reports. Says Vicky Lynch, a friend of the family of Lane's girlfriend, Sarah Harper: "He was hurt on our watch."
Other Duncan residents have taken action in their sorrow by holding prayer meetings, decorating the main street in red, white and blue ribbons to match the colors of the Australian and American flags, organizing donations and memorial funds.
As TheBlaze previously reported, Lane, a 22-year-old Australian student and baseball player, was shot allegedly by three teenagers who reportedly said they did it because they were bored. Two of the suspects are black and one is white.
James Edwards, 15, and Chancey Luna, 16, were charged with first-degree murder and face life in prison if convicted. They are being held without bond. Michael Jones, 17, was 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)
The day after Lane died, the Morning Herald reports, Rhodes returned to the house he'd been painting and noticed a wreath on the roadside...but in the wrong spot. So Rhodes moved it to where he remembered attending to Lane.
Later he hit a dollar store and purchased solar-powered garden lights for the growing roadside tribute, the Morning Herald notes, as well as a tiny glass ornament engraved with a verse from a Christian poem.
Said Rhodes, standing in the fateful spot: "It's not enough. I just wish I could have done more."
Here's the riveting interview clip with Rhodes:
(H/T: The Sydney Morning Herald)