SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

August 21, 2013

3 teens charged in random slaying of Australian ballplayer

(Continued)

Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper reported that roses and a baseball were placed Monday on the home plate where Lane played as a youth with the message, “A wonderful young man taken too soon. Why?”

Former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer criticized the National Rifle Association and asked Australians to avoid the U.S. as a way to force its Congress to act on gun control.

“Tourists thinking of going to the USA should think twice,” Fischer told the Herald Sun. “This is the bitter harvest and legacy of the policies of the NRA that even blocked background checks for people buying guns at gunshows. People should take this into account before going to the United States. I am deeply angry about this because of the callous attitude of the three teenagers (but) it’s a sign of the proliferation of guns on the ground in the USA. There is a gun for almost every American.”

Tara Harper, Sarah Harper’s cousin, said her family was working with the Lanes on funeral arrangements but that the girlfriend didn’t want to attend court proceedings.

“She wants nothing to do with them. She doesn’t want to see them. She doesn’t want to hear them,” Tara Harper said. “I don’t think we’ll ever know why it happened. No answer will ever be satisfying, no matter what it is.”

Police said they had been called to a home in Duncan’s gritty east side in response to a possible shooting. At the home Tuesday, pieces of cement with the phrases “happiness lives in hearts that love” and “with God all things are possible” written on them sat cracked on the front porch.

One window was covered with foil, and cardboard and a satellite dish was perched on the roof. No one answered at the home or at homes next door or across the street.

At the site of the shooting, Bill Renfrow, 85, said he saw emergency workers tending to Lane and believed there had been a hit-and-run accident behind his home.

“It’s very saddening. It’s a terrible thing to happen. It’s so unusual,” he said, later adding: “He was a guest in the country.”

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