Christopher Lane’s friend Marshall Veal started an online donation page to help Lane’s family fly to Oklahoma, bring his body back to Australia, and cover funeral costs. The stated goal was to raise $15,000; the fund now stands at around $150,000.
Lane, 22, was murdered last Friday when he was jogging in Duncan, OK, near his girlfriend’s home. He was attending East Central University (ECU) to play baseball. James Francis Edwards, Jr., 15, and Chancey Luna, 16, are charged with first-degree murder. Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, was allegedly driving the car. Jones told the police the teenagers were bored and killed Lane for fun.
Veal received so much support for the donation page he had to take off work on Wednesday to answer everyone and posted a response from the Lane family. From FOX News:
“The words people were saying, they were just amazing,” Veal said. “I’ve been reached by tons of people and people who have been in tragedies as well and how they coped with it.”
Veal posted a message late Thursday on behalf of Lane’s family thanking the more than 3,000 people who contributed to the fund for their generosity.
“We have appreciated the support we have received from all around the world. We want people to know we don’t believe what happened was a reflection of the people of Duncan or Oklahoma. Christopher was chasing his dreams and we believe everyone should do the same,” the statement read.
“When I think about Chris Lane, I think about a young man with a kind heart and a magnetic personality,” said ECU head baseball coach Dino Rosato in a statement posted on the school’s website. “He was a person I wanted to be around. He was a young man with great character. I am a better man for Chris having been a part of my life.”
Tweets from the 15-year-old member of the group, James Francis Edwards, have raised concerns the violence may have been racially motivated. One tweet says, “90% of white ppl are nasty. #HATE THEM,” while another reads, “Ayeee I knocked out 5 woods since Zimmerman court!:)” The term “woods” is sometimes used as a derogatory term for white people.