The White House issued a statement Saturday regarding the killing of Christopher Lane, an Australian who was a student at East Central University in Ada. Lane was shot while jogging Aug. 16 in Duncan. Three teens have been charged in connection with the case.
The statement, which appeared in an Australian newspaper, was attributed to White House spokesman Matt Lehrich and said, “As the President has expressed on too many tragic occasions, there is an extra measure of evil in an act of violence that cuts a young life short.
“The President and first lady's thoughts and prayers are with Chris Lane's family and friends in these trying times.”
Fallin's comments endorsing the idea of a presidential statement were made Friday during a taping of “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace. However, they were not aired until Sunday, a day after the White House issued a statement to the Australian newspaper.
Alex Weintz, spokesman for Fallin, said Monday, “The governor thinks the president did the right thing by reaching out to the Lane family and the people of Australia.”
Fallin had been asked by Wallace if the president should make a statement on the case. The governor said that “it would be a nice gesture for them to be able to do that, and I certainly know that's what I'm going to do.”
She said she had met with students at East Central University and was going to call Lane's family.
Weintz said Monday that Fallin reached Lane's father over the weekend and personally offered her condolences.
Wallace drew parallels between the Lane killing and that of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, saying Obama had spoken out “quite quickly” about Martin's death.
Two of those alleged to have killed Lane are black; Lane was white. In the Florida case, Martin was black; George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of charges connected to Martin's killing, is Hispanic.
Fallin declined to engage in a discussion about race in connection to the case.
Fallin also rejected the idea that the killing was connected to the “easy availability of guns” in Oklahoma.
“Well I don't think this issue is about gun control,” she told Wallace. “It's an issue about murder. It's an issue about three young men who did something very terrible to a very innocent bystander that was jogging through his community, and it's very unfortunate what has happened.
“And I certainly understand that Australia is very upset. People in Oklahoma are very upset too; people in the United States are very upset with what's happened, because it's just such a shock that anyone would do what they had done to Chris Lane.”