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Reward grows in killing of Georgia police officer

By Phil Gast, CNN
The reward for information leading to the arrest of Jamie Donnell Hood grew to $50,000 Tuesday.
The reward for information leading to the arrest of Jamie Donnell Hood grew to $50,000 Tuesday.
  • NEW: Citizens asked to line roadway for officer's burial procession Sunday
  • Reward grows for suspect in killing of Georgia police officer
  • Shooting occurred in Athens, home to the University of Georgia
  • A second Athens-Clarke County police officer was wounded

(CNN) -- Twenty law enforcement agencies searched Wednesday for a suspect in what the Athens, Georgia, police chief called the "ambush" and "assassination" of one officer and the wounding of another.

The award leading to the arrest of Jamie Donnell Hood, 33, in Tuesday afternoon's shooting grew to $50,000, according to the Athens-Clarke County Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

A murder warrant was issued late Tuesday, said Hilda Sorrow, public information assistant with the police department.

Police Chief Joseph H. Lumpkin Sr. told reporters that officials believe Hood is still in the area and may be getting some assistance in hiding.

Athens is home to the University of Georgia, which is about three miles east of the shooting scene.

Hood is suspected of killing Senior Police Officer Elmer "Buddy" Christian, 34, and wounding Senior Police Officer Tony Howard, 43, who underwent surgery late Tuesday.

Christian was the first Athens officer to be shot and killed since 1936, Sorrow told CNN.

"It's just been unbelievable," Sorrow said. "We're functioning. You've got to keep going."

Howard asked Wednesday morning about the search, Lumpkin said. Howard, who was shot twice, was alert and undergoing medical treatment, CNN Atlanta affiliate WSB said.

Athens Regional Medical Center, at the family's request, told CNN it could provide no information Wednesday on Howard.

The incident began early afternoon Tuesday on the east side of the city when a vehicle was carjacked, Sorrow said. Hood, who was believed to be involved, was later seen as a passenger in another vehicle, a red SUV, she said.

Howard stopped that SUV near Sycamore Drive and Atlanta Highway, where Hood exited and opened fire, police said.

The suspect ran and came across Christian's patrol car, Sorrow said. Hood allegedly fired into the vehicle.

On foot, Hood eventually reached Epps Bridge Parkway, and later carjacked a Chevrolet Prizm, police said. It was found abandoned near his parents' neighborhood, Sorrow said.

A memorial fund was established for Christian's family. The officer is survived by his wife, son, daughter, parents and one brother, WSB said.

The funeral is scheduled for Sunday at the city's Classic Center, with a procession to Evergreen Memorial Park. "Citizens are asked to line the roadway from downtown to the cemetery," according to a police statement.

According to police, Hood is 5 feet, 8 inches and weighs about 175 pounds. He has several tattoos, including "Robert/Dad" on his right arm and "Mom/Azale" and a heart on his left arm. He was last seen wearing a white shirt with a yellow design and blue jean shorts.