Community pays respect to slain Athens officer

9:31 PM, Mar 27, 2011   |    comments
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Hundreds of law enforcement officers from around the state are expected to attend Sunday afternoon's funeral of an Athens-Clarke County police officer killed in the line of duty.

The service for Senior Officer Elmer "Buddy" Christian begins at 2 p.m. at the Classic Center in Athens.

Citizens are being asked to line the route from the Classic Center to Evergreen Memorial Park where Christian will be laid to rest. The procession will travel primarily west on Hwy 78.

An open visitation was held Saturday at Bernstein Funeral Home in Athens.

A steady stream of Officer Christian's church family, friends and fellow officers made their way to share condolences with his family.

Officer Christian was gunned down Monday while investigating a recent carjacking.  nvestigators say he and several other officers pulled over 33-year-old Jaime Hood of Athens as a suspect.  They say Hood shot and wounded Officer Tony Howard then walked up to Officer Christian's patrol car and killed the veteran officer.

After a four day extensive search, authorities found Hood in an apartment reportedly holding hostages. Hood eventually surrendered after requesting it happen on live televsion to ensure his safety.

11Alive News provided that live camera feed and at approximately 11:15 p.m. Friday, Hood walked out with five other individuals.

Hood is now in custody awaiting a first appearance in court.

Meantime, Officer Christian's family and friends can now turn their full attention to giving him a proper goodbye.

"It does give us some closure to know that Officer Christian's killer is off the streets and our community is safe," said Athens-Clarke County Police Chief Joseph Lumpkin.

Officer Christian, 34, is survived by a wife, a son, a daughter, his parents and two brothers. Christian had served on the force since 2002. According to Major Mike Shockley, "Officer Christian was an excellent and well-liked by his colleagues".

11Alive has been collecting condolences to deliver to Christian's family. If you would like to leave them a message, click here.

Athens-Clarke County Police Department is asking all who want to donate to the family to drop donations off at any branch of Athens First Bank. Donations may also be mailed to Athens First Bank, 150 West Hancock Avenue, Athens, GA 30601.

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