Australian College Baseball Player Laid to Rest after Oklahoma Shooting

(CNN) — The Australian victim of an alleged “thrill killing” in the United States was laid to rest in his hometown Wednesday, as an autopsy report revealed he was killed by a single shot to the back.

Hundreds of mourners packed Melbourne’s St Therese’s Church Wednesday for the funeral of Christopher Lane, who was studying in the United States on a baseball scholarship when he was allegedly gunned down at random on August 16.

The autopsy report, released Tuesday, showed Lane, a student at Oklahoma’s East Central University, was killed by a single bullet that hit his back, penetrated both lungs, his aorta and pulmonary artery, and fractured two ribs.

One of the three teens arrested over the 22-year-old’s death allegedly told police in Duncan, Oklahoma, that they had decided to kill someone because they were bored.

Two of the teens — James Edwards Jr., 15, and Chancey Luna, 16 — have been charged as adults with first-degree murder over the shooting, while another, 17-year-old Michael Jones, is accused of being an accessory and driving a vehicle during the discharge of a weapon.

The senselessness of the killing caused outrage in Australia and the U.S., with former Australian deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer calling for a boycott on travel to the U.S. in response, and President Barack Obama expressing his condolences to Lane’s family.

The case also prompted speculation the killing may have been racially-motivated, as one of the alleged shooters, who is black, had allegedly made online comments about disliking white people. District Attorney Jason Hicks said while the powst appeared racial in character, there was insufficient evidence to pursue hate crime charges in the case.

Lane’s American girlfriend, Sarah Harper, was among the mourners at the funeral, having accompanied his body home to Australia on Saturday. She had attended a tribute game Sunday with Lane’s family and friends at Melbourne’s Essendon Baseball Club, where Lane had been a member.

The-CNN-Wire
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