On Wednesday March 16, 2022, Oconee County Sheriff’s Investigators along with members of the ATF, FBI, and Philadelphia Police Dept. arrested Ahkil Nasir Crumpton for the murder of Elijah James Wood. Elijah was shot and killed on March 19, 2021, while working as the night clerk at the RaceTrac on Hwy 441 in Oconee Co. Georgia.

“It’s a great relief to finally have the suspect in custody,” said Oconee Co. Sheriff James A. Hale Jr. “For the past year Oconee Co. investigators along with our state, federal, and local law enforcement partners have tirelessly worked this difficult case. Although challenging, we were always confident we would find the person responsible for this senseless murder.”

On February 15, 2022, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the ATF of a ballistic match on the gun used in the murder of Elijah Wood. The match showed the same gun was used in a homicide in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after Elijah’s murder. Oconee Co. Sheriff’s Office immediately launched an investigation to determine if the shooter was the same in both cases. This investigation consisted of Oconee Co. Sheriff’s Office, ATF, FBI, and Philadelphia Police Department with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Middle District of Georgia and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia Police Investigators advised they suspected Ahkil Crumpton was the shooter in their case. Oconee Co. investigators quickly established a link between Philadelphia and Athens. Crumpton is from Philadelphia, played football for the University of Georgia (UGA) in 2017 and 2018, and was a student at UGA until 2021. This information led to a more in-depth investigation, which produced evidence to secure an arrest warrant for Ahkil Nasir Crumpton for the murder of Elijah Wood. This is an active investigation, and no further details are being released at this time.

“This case is not over,” said Oconee Co. Sheriff James A. Hale Jr. “The arrest is only the start of the process, which will not end until we successfully prosecute this case in a court of law.”

Recap of the case

On March 19, 2021, at approximately 1:30 am 23-year-old Elijah Wood was shot and killed while working at the RaceTrac gas station on Hwy 441 in Oconee County, Georgia.

The suspect was dressed in all black and wore an American Eagle hoodie and a face mask that covered all but a small portion of the eyes. Some red material could be seen on store surveillance underneath the black face mask. The suspect wore yellow and black Battle Sport gloves and was armed with a pistol. Based on the FBI’s video analysis and measurements taken at the scene, the suspect was estimated to be approximately 5’10” – 6’ tall. Information gathered in the investigation also strongly suggested the suspect was a right handed, light skinned African American, Hispanic, Indian, or biracial male in his late teens to early 30s, with dark eyes, and an athletic build. Video evidence showed the suspect to have an erect posture and agile movements.

Prior to the murder, a vehicle was seen traveling Hwy 441 south, turning right onto Hog Mountain Rd., driving past the RaceTrac, turning right onto Welbrook Rd., and stopping for a period of time before driving away. This vehicle is believed to be connected to the crime.

From the start of this investigation, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the GBI, FBI, ATF, U.S. Marshals, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia, the Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, and numerous local law enforcement agencies. A certified criminal profiler and an independent private investigations firm reviewed the case. A sketch of the suspect was produced by the GBI’s Forensic Artist Kelly Lawson. The case information was continuously shared through the law enforcement intelligence network in order to ensure all possible avenues and techniques of solving this crime were covered.

An initial reward of $10,000 was ultimately raised to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest of the suspect(s) in the case. A website (www.WhoKilledElijah.com) was created to provide the community with information on the case. Along with thousands of flyers and wanted posters being distributed, billboards were placed in the Athens, Atlanta, and Augusta area to generate leads.

Since March 19, 2021, the Oconee Co. Sheriff’s Office has received thousands of tips. 51 persons of interest have been investigated, more than 20 search warrants have been executed, and countless witness, tipster, and field interviews have been conducted.

Although an arrest has been made, this case is still an active investigation. We urge anyone with information on this case to come forward. You may contact the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office at (706) 769 3945.