Washington - Two US teenagers who shot dead an Australian baseball player because they were "bored" were charged with murder on Tuesday, local authorities said.
Chris Lane, aged 22, was shot in the back while out jogging on Friday and left to die after being randomly targeted by the teenagers in the small Oklahoma town of Duncan.
"They were bored and just wanted to see someone die," Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford was quoted as saying by ABCNews.com.
Prosecutors charged James Edwards, aged 15, and Chancey Luna, aged 16, with first degree murder, a crime punishable by death in Oklahoma.
A third teen, Michael Dewayne Jones, aged 17, was charged with use of a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and acting as an accessory after the fact.
The three teenagers were arrested after analysis of surveillance video picked up the car they had been driving.
‘Billy Bob Badasses’
Affidavits obtained by AFP revealed that a search of Jones' car had uncovered a .22 caliber bullet hidden inside the air conditioning unit, and a quantity of .22 ammunition hidden in a fuse box.
The shooting has shocked the small rural town of Duncan and made national headlines in Australia.
Ford told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that Lane, a promising athlete studying at Oklahoma's East Central University on a baseball scholarship, had been targeted at random.
"He apparently was jogging. He went by a residence where these three boys were, they picked him as a target, they went out and got in a vehicle and followed him," Ford said.
"Came up from behind and basically shot him in the back with a small caliber weapon, then sped away."
In a separate interview with Australian Associated Press, Ford said it appeared the teenagers intended to kill more people and had left a chilling message on Facebook.
"They wanted to be Billy Bob Badasses," he said.
"I think they were on a killing spree. We would have had more bodies that night if we didn't get them."
AP reported that on one of the alleged killer's Facebook pages, investigators found the message: "Bang. Two drops in two hours."
Lane's devastated father Peter said his death was so pointless.
"There's not going to be any good come out of this because it was just so senseless," he told reporters in Melbourne.
"There wasn't anything he did or could have done. He was an athlete going for a jog like he would do five or six days a week in terms of his training schedule."
"He was just a kid on the cusp of making his life. To try and understand it is a short way to insanity," he added.
On its website, Baseball Australia said it was "deeply saddened to hear of the tragic passing of Chris Lane, a very talented and bright young player."
The case has caused outrage in Australia, and the US State Department expressed its sorrow.
"This is clearly a tragic death, and we extend our condolences to the family and the loved ones," spokesperson Marie Harf said.
"We understand that local authorities are focused on bringing those responsible to justice."