ECU community mourns loss of slain baseball player

By: Ashley Park Email
By: Ashley Park Email

ADA, OK -- As ECU kicks off the new school year Monday, no one imagined it would start with a tragic loss.

Friday afternoon, Duncan Police officials say 23-year-old Christopher Lane was jogging down Country Club Road in Duncan, when he was shot in the back and killed.

Police are calling it a random act of violence.

Lane was an Australian National attending ECU on an athletic scholarship.

"We all have lost something that's just never going to be replaced," said Peter Lane, Lane's father. "You know the saying, it takes a village to raise a kid, Chris was a product of a fantastic village."

ECU students were shocked to hear the news when they walked on campus Monday morning.

"I was shocked and it was crazy to find out that someone could be here one day, and gone the next day for no apparent reason," said ECU student, Christa Cunningtubby.

ECU Athletic Director, Jeff Williams, says the team and athletic staff are deeply saddened by the loss.

He says Lane was well-liked on and off the field.

"He was well thought of and well liked, and of course being Australian, he had an accent that drew people to him just to have a conversation with him," said Williams. "He was just a fine and outstanding, great-looking young man."

Williams says Lane was also an intelligent student in the classroom, who had a bright future ahead of him.

"He was phenomenal business major here at ECU, was going to graduate this May," said Williams. "He was going to stay in the US and pursue citizenship, and was going to build a career as an American citizen."

Williams says the baseball team as well as the entire school is coming together to support Lane's family in any way they can.

"Right now we just want the Lane family in Australia to know that the Tiger family is thinking of them," Williams said. "Our thoughts and prayers go to them right now, and anything we can do to help in their time of grief, that's what we see our role as right now."

Duncan police have arrested three teens in connection with the shooting, one of whom told police they shot Lane, "for the fun of it".

All are expected to face first degree murder charges.

Williams says the Ada community has set up a Chris Lane Memorial Fund at Citizens Bank to help send Lane back to his family in Australia.

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