Former University of Georgia footballer arrested in murder of gas station clerk

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Former University of Georgia footballer arrested in murder of gas station clerk

A former University of Georgia football player has been busted for the brutal shooting death of a gas station clerk last year, authorities said.

Ahkil Nasir Crumpton, who played wide receiver for the Bulldogs in 2017 and 2018, was arrested Wednesday in his hometown of Philadelphia for the March 2021 slaying of cashier Elijah Wood, 23, at a RaceTrac gas station outside Watkinsville, Georgia.

Chilling surveillance video from the gas station showed a suspect entering while clad in all black and holding a handgun. Nothing was stolen and investigators had offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to a break in the cold case.

Investigators found ballistics evidence in February indicating that shell casings found at the scene of a July homicide in Philadelphia matched those recovered at the Georgia gas station, according to Oconee County Sheriff James Hale.

Ahkil Nasir Crumpton.
Ahkil Nasir Crumpton played wide receiver for the Bulldogs in 2017 and 2018.
Oconee County Georgia Sheriff’s Office

“Today is the day Elijah Wood’s family, everyone here at the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and our community has been waiting for,” Hale said in a statement. “WE GOT HIM!”

The arrest was made in collaboration with investigators from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Hale said.

Cops told the Philadelphia Inquirer Crumpton will face weapons counts related to the July homicide there, but he had not been charged with murder in that case as of Wednesday.

Detectives in Philadelphia suspect Crumpton was the shooter, Hale said. Authorities have not publicly released the victim’s name, but two handguns were recovered from the scene, a police official told the Inquirer.

Years earlier, Crumpton earned all-state and all-Catholic honors while playing football for West Catholic High School. He then went on to Los Angeles Valley College in California before transferring to Georgia, the Inquirer reported.

Hale said Crumpton remained a student at Georgia until 2021, but he did not graduate, university officials told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Surveillance video.
Surveillance video from the gas station showed a suspect entering while clad in all black and holding a handgun.
Oconee County Georgia Sheriff’s Office
Surveillance video.
Ahkil Nasir Crumpton also will face weapons charges in a July homicide case out of Philadelphia.
Oconee County Georgia Sheriff’s Office

Wood, of Watkinsville, was working a graveyard shift by himself when he was killed. A customer found him behind the counter and called cops, who tried to revive him, but were unsuccessful, the newspaper reported.

“We all know this arrest will not bring Elijah back, but we hope his family, friends, and this community can now begin the healing process,” Hale said Wednesday. “We also know that the fight is not over. We must now successfully prosecute the case in a court of law.”

The University of Georgia said it was “stunned” to learn the suspect in Woods’ slaying is one of its former student athletes.

“We offer our heartfelt sympathy to Elijah Wood’s family,” the school told WGCL. “We defer to the FBI, ATF and Oconee County Sheriff’s Office for any further comments regarding this ongoing investigation.”

Elijah James Wood.
Elijah James Wood was working a graveyard shift by himself when he was killed.
Oconee County Georgia Sheriff’s Office

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