Athens cop killer reward $50,000

 ATHENS, Ga. -- Authorities today raised the reward to $50,000 for information leading to the capture of a man who killed one Athens-Clarke police officer and severely wounded another Tuesday.


 Moments after law enforcement officials held a news conference outside Athens-Clarke police headquarters on Lexington Road, the FBI contacted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to say they added $40,000 to the reward money that already was in place for information that led to the arrest of 33-year-old Jamie Hood.

"I believe $50,000 is a good incentive for someone to come forward and offer up Jamie Hood for arrest," GBI Director Vernon Keenan said.

Hood is wanted for the murder of Senior Police Officer Elmer "Buddy" Christian and wounding Senior Police Officer Tony Howard, police said.

As of  this morning, police had not found the 33-year-old suspect and warned people that Hood is dangerous and still may be armed. Authorities urged anyone who encounters him or knows his whereabouts to call 911.

The search this morning apparently may have shifted farther east, prompting Oglethorpe County school officials to place schools on a hard lock-down, meaning students and staff will remain inside main buildings in current rooms until further notice, according to Oglethorpe County Schools Superintendent Veta New.

Yesterday's search focused on Clarke County's Eastside, in areas near where Hood abandoned a car he hijacked after he shot the officers, not far from his parents' home off Winterville Road.

The Clarke County School District kept elementary schools on soft lockdown, meaning no outdoor activities, but said after-school programs will be held.

Extracurricular activities at middle and high schools, including sports events and athletic practice, will resume this afternoon, district spokeswoman Anisa Sullivan Jimenez said.

"Appropriate adult supervision should be in place at all times and all parties should remain alert," Jimenez said in a notice to parents.

Clarke schools were placed on lockdown on Tuesday after the shooting.

Hood, who was released from prison two years ago for an armed robbery, shot the officers on Sycamore Drive Tuesday afternoon, even before the officers were able to get out of their patrol cars, police said.

Hood was wanted as a suspect in a carjack-kidnapping, and Howard stopped an SUV he was in on Sycamore drive because the officer recognized the driver was a relative of the suspect, according to police.

Hood, a passenger in the SUV, got out and shot Howard, then shot Christian through the officer's patrol car window as he arrived to provide backup, police said.

Hood is described as 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing about 175 pounds, and he was last seen wearing a white shirt with a yellow design and blue jean shorts.

Anyone with information about Hood should call Crime Stoppers at (706) 613-3342.

Gallery: Athens police officers hunt suspect

► The Athens Banner-Herald spotlighted Senior Police Officer Tony Howard in August 2009 when he earned national recognition for community policing. Read that story here.


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