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Posted: March 23, 2011

Police Chief: 'It's An Assassination'

By Veronica Waters

None —

(WSB Radio)  The manhunt for an accused cop killer has gone nationwide, and a reward has gone way up.

"From my perspective, this is just an ambush and an assassination," says  Athens-Clark County Police Chief Joseph Lumpkin.  The $50,000 reward to find the man behind the fatal shooting of Senior Police Officer Buddy Christian reflects that. 

Lumpkin says the search for 33-year-old suspect Jamie Hood is stretching nationwide, but they believe he is still in the local area.  They are searching house to house, street by street, as Hood's mother pleads for her son to surrender.

"People can't exist with this type of manhunt without someone assisting [them], and we have to identify that and find that lead," Lumpkin said in a Wednesday morning press conference.

Lumpkin broke down during the conference when asked about Christian's wife and children.  He was a 34-year-old married father of three.  The ACCP says Athens First Bank will serve as the depository for a memorial fund for Senior Police Officer Elmer “Buddy” Christian.  Donations may be dropped off at any branch of Athens First Bank. Donations may also be mailed to Athens First Bank, 150 West Hancock Ave., Athens, GA, 30601, with a notation that it is for this fund.

GBI Director Vernon Keenan is confident the high reward will bring a needed tip for the suspect's arrest. 

"I believe that $50,000 is a great inspiration for someone to come forward and to offer up Jamie Hood," says Keenan.  He expects the tip will come from someone Hood runs with. 

A second search focused on the nephew of suspect Jamie Hood.  Police believe the man known only by his nickname, "Little Hood," may be helping his uncle by giving him money.  Little Hood is said to be driving a blue Ford Taurus with side damage. 

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