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"Bored" Teens Gun Down Baseball Player

by Robb Reel

For the second post in a row, I can't compose a clever headline.

[Photo: courtesy of East Central University athletics] 

Chris Lane grew up in Melbourne, Australia.  He came to the States to play baseball, first at Redlands Junior College, then at East Central University in Ada, Okla.  He started 14 games behind the plate last season and was entering his senior year.  He wasn't a spectacular player -- he hit .280 with five doubles and four HRs, according to the team website -- and may never have played professionally at all, certainly not at a high level.  His coach, Dino Rosato, described him as "an absolute joy" to coach, a well-respected student-athlete who was a great supporter, adviser and example to his teammates.

While he may not have found a lifetime career in baseball here, Lane found an education and may have found a life beyond it.  Sarah Harper was Lane's girlfriend   They had just returned from a visit to Australia and Harper took him home to Duncan, Okla.  Lane went out for a run.

He jogged past a home where three teenage boys were staying.  At least one would tell Stephens County authorities that the teens were "bored" and decided to kill someone.  One proclaimed "There's our target" when Lane passed by.

They followed him in a car.  They shot him in the back.  They drove off.

Lane staggered and fell to the ground.  Those who heard the gunshot tried to help, even administering CPR.  Chris Lane died on the scene.  He would have turned 23 on Labor Day.

[Photo: Lane and Harper, via Twitter]

I consider myself a smart man, but there is no understanding this.  They murdered a stranger -- someone who never even had a chance to wrong them -- in cold blood.  I know I'm supposed to use words like "allegedly" here, but they've admitted to it, according to all accounts.  They shot a defenseless man in the back because they were "bored."

Is there anything more cowardly than shooting someone in the back?

Is there anything more evil than doing it just for fun?

I so want to make sense of this, but I know I never will.  I am profoundly saddened by this loss of someone I never would have even met.  I could only hope to someday take this as well as the victim's father, Peter Lane.

"It is heartless and to try to understand it is a short way to insanity."

God bless Chris Lane.