Former UGA football player arrested in connection with Elijah Wood murder

Ahkil Nasir Crumpton played for the University of Georgia in 2017 and 2018
Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 12:01 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - A former UGA player has been arrested in connection with the murder of 23-year-old Elijah Wood, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office announced.


On Wednesday, the sheriff’s office, along with the ATF, FBI and Philadelphia Police Department announced the arrest of Ahkil Nasir Crumpton, who they believe was responsible for the shooting that took Wood’s life.

During a news conference Thursday, Oconee County Sheriff James Hale said he and his team worked nonstop over the past year.

“It was a 24/7 constant grind. We went home just enough to sleep,” said Hale, who got choked up at times discussing the case.

“We are a family here in Oconee County. Any time we lose any one of our people here it hits us hard,” he said.

In March 2021, Wood was fatally shot while working an overnight shift at the RaceTrac gas station on Macon Highway near Watkinsville. The murder, which was captured on surveillance video, sent shockwaves through the Oconee County community. Authorities released sketches and descriptions of the alleged assailant who had fled the scene, along with a reward from the FBI and Wood’s employer, RaceTrac Corporation. Later, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office increased the reward to $50,000; a combination of $20,000 from the FBI, $15,000 from the RaceTrac, $10,000 from Oconee County BOC and $5,000 from the Oconee Sheriff’s Reward Fund.

“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 County 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.”

In mid-February investigators were made aware of a ballistic match through the ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network. It matched a shell casing from the Oconee County case with a shell casing from a homicide in Philadelphia. Sheriff Hale said Crumpton was not on their radar until then.

That’s when the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation to determine if the shooter was the same in both cases. A link was established and Crumpton was arrested in Philadelphia, his hometown. Crumpton played football for the University of Georgia in 2017 and 2018 and was a student at UGA until 2021.

UGA sent the following statement:

“We were stunned to learn that the suspect in this horrific crime is a former UGA student-athlete. We offer our heartfelt sympathy to Elijah Wood’s family. We defer to the FBI, ATF and Oconee County Sheriff’s Office for any further comments regarding this ongoing investigation.”

Crumpton is in jail in Philadelphia awaiting extradition to Georgia.