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ACC Policeman Killed but Suspect at Large

Senior Police Officer Elmer “Buddy” Christian was shot to death investigating a carjacking. The suspect remains at large, but his getaway car has been found.

An Athens-Clarke County Police officer was fatally shot and a second officer was wounded early Tuesday afternoon while investigating an alleged kidnapping and carjacking that happened earlier in the day in Winterville.

Killed was Senior Police Officer Elmer “Buddy” Christian. Senior Police Officer Tony Howard was wounded and taken to for surgery, according to a statement issued Tuesday evening by ACC Police Maj. Mike Shockley.

According to Shockley's statement, the officers were on Sycamore Drive near Atlanta Highway, looking for Jamie Hood, 33, a suspect in the carjacking, who was thought to live in the area. There are numerous apartment buildings on Sycamore Drive. 

The shooting occurred in the Cascades on the River apartment complex, said Athens-Clarke County Police Spokespeson Hilda Sorrow. Officer Howard saw one of Jamie Hood’s relatives driving a red Chevrolet Suburban. When he stopped the Suburban, the driver “seemed to be compliant,” the statement says.

Hood was a passenger in the Suburban, the police said. “At some point,” the statement says, Hood left the car and shot Officer Howard.  

Jerry Johnson, a second Senior Police Officer, heard the shots and took the driver of the Suburban into custody. Hood ran from the traffic stop and encountered another police vehicle. He shot into it, killing Officer Christian, and left, later turning up on Epps Bridge in a silver Geo Prizm, police said.

For hours, officers from various law enforcement agencies, including the , the University of Georgia Police, the Georgia State Patrol and the Winterville Police, searched for Hood, but as of 7:30 p.m., they hadn’t caught him. They did find the vehicle and were looking for Hood near

Officer Christian is survived by his wife, a son, a daughter and a brother. Officer Howard is expected to make a full recovery from his gunshot wounds, police said. Officer Johnson wasn’t injured.

Murder warrants have been issued for Hood. The ACC Police's Sorrow said the last time an Athens-Clarke County police officer was shot was in 1982. A policeman hasn't been killed in Athens since 1936.

Jamie Hood was convicted of an armed robbery committed in Clarke County in 1997 and sentenced to 12 years in prison, according to public records. That was his first incarceration.

He was released from Macon State Prison in July 2009. According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, Hood sports several tatoos: "JOB" with a female on his chest, "Robert/Dad" on his right arm and "Mom Azale" with a heart on his left arm. He also has scars on his back and head.

According to a 2009 story in the , Hood, of Ranick Road in Winterville, robbed a delivery man at gunpoint on July 29, 1997. At the Waterford Apartments on Oconee Street, Hood shoved a gun in the face of the delivery man, who threw down $3. 

The wide police search for Jamie Hood disrupted the usual pace of life in Clarke County on Tuesday. Several roads were blocked off in and buses were delayed. All Tuesday evening events in the public schools were canceled.

About 2:30 Tuesday afternoon, police were flagging down motorists along Winterville Road. Ranick Road connects Spring Valley and Winterville road, and the house where the Hood family lives is the only one on the road. A Winterville resident said she saw several police officers in the area.

Robert and Azalee Hood had several sons, and are no strangers to sorrow and trouble. An Athens-Clarke County Police officer shot and killed Timothy Hood, 22, in November 2001 after Hood allegedly put a gun to the officer's head, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

Robert Hood has said he wants his son to turn himself in.

A Facebook page has been put up for the slain police officer. https://www.facebook.com/pages/RIP-Athens-Clarke-County-Police-Officer-Elmer-Buddy-Christian/138459182889209

-- Oconee Patch Editor Stephanie Gross contributed to this story.

CORRECTION: A version of this story named the wrong officer as the man who was fatally shot.

Sara Baker March 23, 2011 at 12:28 AM
Thanks for the excellent coverage. So sorry for Officer Christian's family.

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