The Duncan, Okla., resident who phoned police to tip them off to the shooters’ whereabouts last Friday claims that the killing of Chris Lane was not motivated by boredom. Rather, it was a gang initiation, the father of a boy who was also slated to be killed, told The Sydney Morning Herald.
In an interview with Fairfax Media (video below), James Johnson said:
I don’t think it was an initiation – I know it was an initiation, my son told me it was an initiation.
Johnson said that the three youths had been trying to recruit his 17-year-old son, Chris, into a gang, and that Chris had refused.
On Friday afternoon, two hours after Chris Lane’s murder, Johnson was working on his truck in the Immanuel Church parking lot, which is opposite the home where his son lives with his mother, Sheila Haynes. Johnson received a cell phone call from his son, who said he had received a death threat from the accused boys, whom he knew from school, via Facebook.
As Johnson ended the call on his phone, he claims he saw the three suspects drive into the lot in a black car. At the time, he was unaware of the earlier killing or that police were already scouring the town for a car fitting the description of the SUV the boys were driving.
He further states that one of the boys, James Edwards, got out of the car and appeared to reach down for something. Still clutching his cell phone and pretending to be in the middle of a conversation, Johnson called police, who were on the scene within minutes.
Police have not commented on Johnson’s allegation, though court documents confirm that the three youths were arrested in front of Sheila Haynes’s house. Records also show that in the black SUV police found a shotgun and a cache of ammunition. They also found the .22-caliber revolver they believe was used to kill Chris Lane.
Says Johnson of his good fortune at being in the right place at the right time — a fate diametrically opposite that of Chris Lane:
I just thank God I was there, and that Chris was not outside. They could have just driven past and shot him, I don’t even like to contemplate that.
To be quite honest, if they were smarter, they could have come up behind me and shot me in the head.