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Teens had guns outside boy's home, police said

Shooting brings out anger, sadness in Duncan, on Internet and across world.
by Nolan Clay and Adam Kemp Modified: August 22, 2013 at 12:02 am •  Published: August 21, 2013

Three teenagers involved in the “thrill killing” of an East Central University baseball player from Australia were headed to another teen's house with guns just hours later, police said.

About four hours after last Friday's shooting of Christopher Lane, James Johnson called police to his home at 111 W Ash because three boys were outside with guns, police reported.

“Mr. Johnson called us and said there are these boys over here with guns, and I think they want to kill someone,” Police Chief Danny Ford told The Oklahoman on Wednesday. “He later told us that he thought they wanted to kill his son.”

Police arrested James Francis Edwards Jr. 15, Chancey Allen Luna, 16, and Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, near the home.

Edwards and Luna were charged Tuesday with first-degree murder, and Jones was charged with being an accessory to murder after the fact and use of a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon.

Authorities said the victim was shot at random as he was jogging. Prosecutors allege Luna fired the handgun while Jones drove and Edwards rode as a passenger.

James Johnson's daughter, Shanelle Johnson, 15, said Luna is her cousin and that she had grown up going to school with Edwards.

“My dad called the police because James and my brother had been having issues lately,” she said. “They had been fighting over a lot of ‘he said, she said' stuff. He just thought they were really suspicious outside our house.”

James Johnson, 52, told an Australian newspaper his son, Christopher, 17, had been threatened on Facebook.

“My son called me and said, ‘They're saying they're coming to kill me' so I called the police and they got here within about three minutes,” he told the Australian paper. “They threatened to kill my son because they are in a gang, the Crips, and were trying to get my son in it and I wouldn't let him do it. I told him he couldn't run with those boys. He's a little terrified.”

Shanelle Johnson said she doesn't think the three teens would have killed her brother, but she also never thought they would be capable of killing anyone.

“I would hope they wouldn't but I don't know honestly,” she said.

“It doesn't seem as unbelievable after hearing what they had done to someone else.”

The police chief said all three defendants have had run-ins with the law before.

He said Edwards went to the courthouse 30 minutes after the shooting to sign probation papers.

Ford said he doesn't believe any of the three teenagers were involved with gangs and he does not think the shooting was in any way gang-related.

Ford said the .22-caliber revolver used in the shooting has yet to be found. He said a photo of a gun on Edwards' Facebook page is not the gun police are looking for.

Girlfriend's words

On Facebook, Lane's girlfriend wrote that she wants the teenagers involved in his fatal shooting to “rot in hell.”

“It's a very angry yet extremely sad time. No one deserves to die that way,” Sarah Harper wrote Monday. “Not even the boys involved. Don't get me wrong, I want them to rot in hell, but no one should be blindly taken from the back so unexpectedly and without any reason.”

The couple had been on vacation together in Australia this summer.

Her Facebook page features photos of them together.

He was shot Friday afternoon at random in Duncan, where he was visiting Harper.

“I love you so much babe,” Harper wrote on her Facebook page. “From 2009 until forever you will always be mine and in a very special and protected place in my heart.”

Waiting outside the Stephens County sheriff's office Wednesday, Danielle Crudup sat with friends talking over the whirlwind that has been her life since her brother, James, was arrested and charged with murder.

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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by Adam Kemp
Enterprise Reporter
Adam Kemp is an enterprise reporter and videographer for the Oklahoman and Kemp grew up in Oklahoma City before attending Oklahoma State University. Kemp has interned for the Oklahoman, the Oklahoma Gazette and covered Oklahoma State...
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