Report: College Baseball Player Murder Was Gang Initiation
Christopher Lane, the college baseball player from Australia who was murdered while he was jogging last Friday in Oklahoma, was reportedly killed as part of a "gang initiation."
James Johnson, the man who called the police on the three teenagers alleged to be responsible for Lane's murder, said the teenagers that reportedly killed Lane "for fun" tried to recruit his 17-year-old son into a gang.
"I don't think it was an initiation--I know it was an initiation, my son told me it was an initiation," Johnson told the Sydney Morning Herald of Australia.
James Francis Edwards Jr., 15, Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, and Chancey Allen Luna, 16, had threatened to kill Johnson's son via a Facebook message two hours after they allegedly killed Lane. Luna and Edwards have been charged with first-degree murder while Jones has been charged with being an accessory after the fact and driving a vehicle while a weapon was discharged.
Johnson said he was working on his truck in the Immanuel Baptist Church parking lot in Duncan, Oklahoma when his son, who lives in a home opposite the parking lot with his mother, called him "and said he had received a death threat from the accused boys, who he knew from school, via Facebook."
According to the report, as he was putting his cell phone away, "Johnson saw the three youths, whom he has known all their lives, in a black car in the middle of the car park" and called police when he saw James Edwards getting out of the car to "stretch or reach down for something." Police got to the scene within minutes and arrested the three alleged perpetrators. "Johnson was unaware of the earlier shooting, or that police were already scouring the town for the car after it had been described at the scene of the earlier shooting."
"I just thank God I was there, and that Chris was not outside, they could have just driven past and shot him, I don't even like to contemplate that," he said. "To be quite honest, if they were smarter, they could have come up behind me and shot me in the head."
Of the alleged killers, who attended the same high school as his son, he said, "They don't have proper fathers in their lives. You can't be a friend to your son, you got to be the father."
Johnson said the alleged killers had tried to get his son into the "Crips" gang but, "I wouldn’t let him do it."
“I told him he couldn’t run with these boys," he said. "He’s a little terrified.”
Since Lane's murder, the death threat his son received, and the arrests, Johnson has sent his son to a youth program for safety reasons.