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FATHER COMES CLEAN: Chris Lane was killed as part of a gang initiation

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
August 22nd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The father of a boy allegedly being targeted by the same three teenagers accused in the shooting death of Australian baseball player Chris Lane has spoken out. Lane, he told reporters, died as part of a gang initiation. James Johnson, the one who called the police says that his 17-year-old son was being propositioned by the three suspects prior to the shooting in Duncan, Oklahoma.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Police say they found a shotgun and the .22-calibre revolver they believe was used to kill Lane, along with a cache of ammunition.

Johnson says that the three youths had been trying to recruit his son, Chris into their gang and that he refused.

Two hours after Lane's murder on Friday, Johnson was working on his truck in the Immanuel Church car park opposite the home where Chris lives with his mother, Sheila Haynes.

Chris hold told his father that he had received a death threat from the accused boys, who he knew from school, via Facebook. As Johnson hung up the phone, he saw the three youths, whom he has known all their lives, in a black car in the middle of the car park.

Johnson described the three suspects -- James Edwards, Michael Jones and the accused shooter, Chancey Luna - as good boys who had gone off the rails. "They don't have proper fathers in their lives. You can't be a friend to your son, you got to be the father," he said.

Johnson was unaware of the earlier shooting or of the ongoing manhunt for the car after it had been described at the scene of the earlier shooting.

One of the suspects James Edwards, according to Johnson, got out of the car and appeared to either stretch or reach down for something. Pretending to still be on the phone to Chris, Johnson called police, who were on the scene within minutes.

Court documents confirm that Johnson called authorities some four hours after Lane was shot dead, and that officers were dispatched to the car park where they arrested the three suspects.

Police believe that the .22-calibre revolver they allege was used to kill Lane was by then hidden in the car's air intake, while a second weapon, a shotgun, was disassembled.

"I don't think it was an initiation - I know it was an initiation, my son told me it was an initiation," Johnson told reporters.

Johnson has sent away his son for safety concerns to a youth program.

The disclosure from Johnson could possibly provide a motive for the killing. Duncan residents - and people around the world - have struggled to accept that the youths would have committed the murder out of boredom, as one of the accused has told police.

"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," Johnson said.

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