ADA — Christopher Lane is the second East Central University student gunned down since December.
In both cases, authorities said the killers had no motivation beyond wanting to know what it felt like to take a life, an explanation that has been hard to take for those who knew the victims.
ECU spokeswoman Amy Ford said the school offers counseling for students.
“When tragedies occur on or off campus, we reach out to students and remind them about these services,” Ford said. “Anytime we have a loss of one our family members, all faculty, staff and students are impacted. Our hearts go out to all of the family and friends affected.”
Generro Sanchez, 18, was shot in the head Dec. 6 near Asher after agreeing to give a ride to classmate Jerrod Murray, 19, who is scheduled to go on trial for murder next month.
According to affidavits filed in the case, Murray told investigators he killed Sanchez to see what it would feel like. Both Murray and Sanchez were freshmen living in the dorms at the school.
Prosecutors claim Murray offered Sanchez gas money to drive him to Walmart and forced him to drive to a preplanned location near his home in Asher before shooting him in the head.
Murray was arrested near the ditch where Sanchez's body was found.
Lane, 22, was shot to death Aug. 16 in Duncan. Three teens are charged in the case, and the only motive any of the accused offered to police was that they were bored.
Lane, who was shot in the back while jogging, apparently was picked at random.
Pottawatomie County District Attorney Richard Smothermon, who is prosecuting the case against Murray, said most killers are motivated by personal conflicts with their victims. When someone like Sanchez or Lane is killed for seemingly no reason, it resonates in a different way with people.
“You are personally outraged that the value of a human life means nothing to someone where you just kill for the sake of the kill,” Smothermon said.
“That just bypasses any level of understanding.”
Smothermon said in both cases the victim's age makes the crime even more heartbreaking. Seeing college students cut down in the prime of their lives is tough, he said.
“It just makes your faith in human nature fade,” Smothermon said.
“As prosecutors, we see homicides and deal with victims every day. Cases like this make even the most hardened prosecutor take a deep breath.”