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The three boys alleged to have gunned down an Australian baseball player out for a run because they were 'bored' were influenced by an ultra-violent rapper, police revealed to MailOnline today.
Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford said that rather than being part of any gang, which had been suggested before, authorities believe the boys were just wannabes who were emulating the thuggish beliefs of their idols, with Chief Keef being prime suspect.
James Edwards, 15, and Chancey Luna, 16, are accused of the first degree murder of Christopher Lane as he went for a jog last Friday. Friend Michael Jones, 17, is charged with being an accessory to the crime and driving the getaway car.
Tough guy: Edwards posted videos of him tossing around guns and looking threatening in a blue bandana associated with the notorious Crips gang
Role model: Edwards was a huge fan of ultr-violent rapper Chief Keef, left
It emerged today that the day before Edwards is alleged to have shot dead Christopher, 22, in a drive-by from a black Ford Focus, he tweeted about rapper Chief Keef.
Two days earlier he posted a chilling tweet that was a lyric from the rapper's song I Don't Like. It read: 'With my n****s when it's time to start taken life's' (sic). Other lyrics in the same song include 'pistol toting and I'm shooting on sight'.
Today, Ford said: 'These boys were more into some rapper that goes around, his music is violent. More than gang stuff. One of the parents said something about rap.
'These boys have no respect for life or authority or society, it doesn't matter who it is. By one of their own words, they saw him go by, and they said, "there's the target" and they followed him and shot him. He could have been anybody walking down the street.'
Chilling: Edwards posted these lyrics from a Chief Keef track three days before the murder
24 hours to murder: Just a day before the killing Edwards again referenced Chief Keef
The small town has been rocked by the senseless murder that has sent shockwaves around the world, leaving many wondering what drove the 'bored' boys to apparently kill just for the thrill of it, as Jones is said to have apparently admitted to police.
Race has been raised as a factor, as have gangs after one local man who claimed his son was to be the next victim said the boys were part of the notorious Crips gang and the killing was part of an 'initiation'.
James Johnson said: '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.
‘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.'
Suspects: Michael Jones (left) is accused of being an accessory to murder while Chancey Luna (center) and James Edwards (right) face first degree murder charges for the shooting of Christopher Lane
Random: Police chief Danny Ford said 'it could have been anybody' who was killed that day. But it was Chris Lane (left) and his girlfriend Sarah Harper has talked of her heartbreak at the 'senseless' killing
'These kids can be good kids- they are good kids- they just don't have any male figures in their lives,' he told The Sydney Morning Herald.
The bolded line below was posted on James Edwards' Twitter page just days before he allegedly shot and killed Chris Lane:
Fake Trues that's that sh*t I don't like
Fake shoes, that's that sh*t I don't like
Fake n****s, that's that sh*t I don't like
Stalking a** b****, sh*t I don't like
I done got indicted selling all white
But I won't never snitch none in my life
I keep this sh*t 3hunna b****, I'm going right
With my n****s when it's time to start taking lifes
Playing both sides, sh*t that I don't like
Wartime spark broad day, all night
Playing both sides, sh*t that I don't like
Wartime spark broad day, all night
'I don't think it was for fun. I don't think it was random. I think it was initiation.'
His comments came after it emerged the boys had posted pictures of themselves doing gang signs with their hands, pretending to use wads of cash as telephones and posing with guns in social media videos.
Edwards also changed his profile picture on August 9 to show his face hidden in a blue bandana - typically associated with the Crips and its affiliates - and they are active in Oklahoma. Four Crips were indicted on drugs charges in Tulsa in June.
But Detective John Byers, who is leading the investigation and is the town's gang expert, told MailOnline: 'Jones, the white gentleman, I've not known him to be claiming to be part of any gang.
'On Edward's posts he is throwing up hand signs, but I haven't known him to say he's part of any gang - and we have no knowledge of Luna being involved with the other two before at all.
'I cannot say this is a gang. They knew each other, they hung out. they committed crime. Yes, by classification, to be called a gang, they have to have some kind of initiation and call themselves a certain name, but at this point I can't say they are a gang.
Questionable ties: School friends claimed that Edwards (center) and Luna (right) were trying to join the local chapter of the notorious Crips gang, and they posted pictures to their Facebook where they are holding gang signs
'Social media has played a large part of this investigation.'
It also emerged today that Edwards, whose family said he had once wanted to be an Olympic wrestler, had posted on his Twitter that he ‘hated white people’ and boasting that he beat up five white people after the George Zimmerman acquittal in the Trayvon Martin case.
On Twitter, he boasted of killing white people, using the derogatory term 'woods', following the controversial George Zimmerman verdict, and making racist comments in earlier messages.
'Ayeee I knocced out 5 woods since Zimmerman court!:) lol sh*t ima keep sleepin sh*t! #ayeeee,' he wrote.
In another, he said: '90% of white ppl are nasty. #HATE THEM'.
Victim: Christopher Lane, 22, was visiting his girlfriend's family in Duncan, Oklahoma and out for a jog when he was killed
Ford wouldn't be drawn on race as a motive today. He said: 'I don;t have anything on that, I know that's what the United States is talking about, we don't have anything that connects this with what they've said on Facebook.'
Meanwhile, it has been revealed that Edwards, seemingly showing huge bravado, danced and laughed after the trio were arrested.
Byers told MailOnline: 'He did some kind of dance at the booking counter. There's a long desk that you stand in front of. When they got him up to that desk, he began to dance, he did some kind of dance motion.'
Police Chief Danny Ford told The Herald Sun that Edwards said it was 'no big deal' and that he also 'laughed.
'He didn't say anything for a while after, then on Sunday we got a call from the jailhouse that he had something to tell us.'
In public, Edwards' father told how his 15-year-old son wanted to be an Olympic wrestler and said that he knew where his boy was '95 per cent' of the time.
Luna's mother said that he was a good boy who had been through a tough year after being forced out of school following his stepfather's and brother's deaths.
She was hoping that he would make something of himself as he planned to go back to the classroom next week when the school year starts again.
Distressing: Sarah Harper, the girlfriend of slain Australian baseball player Chris Lane, speaks with Anderson Cooper on CNN last night
During a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, Luna and Edwards looked stony-faced and did not even glance over to their crying relatives in the courtroom.
Jones, 17, did show some emotion, but not as much as his pregnant girlfriend had to leave the room because she was sobbing uncontrollably.
Officials now believe that Lane was not their first target, though he was their first human victim.
Police chief Ford said that during their investigation they found a dead donkey that had been killed with a shotgun just a block away from where Lane was murdered.
Because of Lane's nationality, the case has gained national attention, but some have criticized the White House for not reacting strongly enough.
A State Department spokeswoman put out a statement earlier this week saying that the federal government is 'deeply saddened' by Lane's death but she did not comment on any specific action.
'This is clearly a tragic death, and we extend our condolences to the family and the loved ones. We understand that local authorities are focused on bringing those responsible to justice. Clearly, we would support that,' she said at a briefing on Tuesday.
Australia's former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer called for his fellow countrymen to think of this shooting when they are planning a trip to the United States.
Senseless: Police Chief Danny Ford told MailOnline that the killers had no respect for authority or society
Shock: Residents of Duncan have been convulsed by the murder that has attracted worldwide attention
The victim's stunned girlfriend is struggling to comprehend why three teenage boys allegedly gunned him down in the middle of the day because they were 'bored'.
Sarah Harper, 22, appeared on CNN Wednesday night describing her boyfriends death as 'surreal', Harper said that she had no idea why anyone could do this to the 'most genuine and kind-hearted person' she knew, who 'made everyone feel special'.
She said that she 'can't make sense' of the killing in the small, quiet town of Duncan, Oklahoma, as he jogged on Friday afternoon.
Telling CNN's Anderson Cooper that her boyfriend 'loved the adventure' of living away from his native Australia, she said, 'there's no way to describe whats happened. It's the hardest thing to describe what’s happening.'
This kind of crime is extremely rare for the small town of Duncan, which is about 100 miles south west of Oklahoma City.
'We don't have anything like this happen here. We have a pretty boring town here,' said on CNN.
'Everyone runs on that street...in the middle of the road.'
Harper confirmed that she would be traveling to Lane's hometown of Melbourne, Australia for his funeral.