Former University of Georgia football player Akhil Crumpton has been arrested in connection to the murder of Elijah Wood who was fatally shot during a gas station robbery in 2021. According to police reports Elijah Wood was shot and killed on March 19,2021 by an assailant dressed all in black during a gas station robbery. Following the murder a $50,000 reward was offered to find the person or persons responsible for the murder of Elijah Wood. Police were able to match the gun casings found at the scene would match another crime scene in Philadelphia where Akhil Crumpton was believed to be the shooter. Akhil Crumpton who is from Philadelphia would spend from 2017 to 2018 at the University of Georgia playing wide receiver.
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The Oconee County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office announced on Wednesday that former University of Georgia football player Akhil Crumpton was arrested in connection to the murder of 23-year-old gas station clerk Elijah Wood last year.
Wood was shot and killed at approximately 1:30 a.m. on March 19, 2021, by an armed assailant who was dressed in all black with most of his head concealed by sunglasses, a hood and face mask, investigators said.
Wood’s murder generated public interest and led to a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the FBI, the U.S. Marshal Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, district attorney investigators and other offices collaborated on the investigation, which is ongoing.
According to the sheriff’s office, shell casings at the crime scene were eventually matched to another crime scene in Philadelphia where local police suspected Crumpton was the shooter.
Oconee Sheriff James Hale said further investigation led to the evidence needed to secure an arrest warrant for Crumpton in the murder of Wood.
Akhil Crumpton, who is from Philadelphia, went to a junior college in California and played receiver for Georgia from 2017 to ’18.
Crumpton remains a suspect in the shooting in Philadelphia, but it’s still an active investigation and no charges have been filed, according to a police department spokesman.
Akhil Crumpton Other News
A former University of Georgia football player has been arrested in connection with the shooting death of an Oconee County gas station clerk, authorities said Wednesday.
Ahkil Crumpton, of Philadelphia, has been under investigation since early February, when ballistics evidence tied him to the death of 23-year-old Elijah James Wood, Oconee Sheriff James A. Hale said. Wood was shot at a RaceTrac on Hog Mountain Road outside of Watkinsville on March 19, 2021.
“For the past year we have seen the pain, agony, and frustrations this murder has brought to Elijah’s family, friends, and to our community,” Hale said in a Facebook post announcing Crumpton’s arrest. “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. We also know that the fight is not over. We must now successfully prosecute the case in a court of law.”
Crumpton’s charges were not immediately available.
After countless hours of investigative work that also involved federal authorities, Hale said they were able to forensically match the shell casing from the gas station scene to another crime scene in Philadelphia. The Oconee agency was notified of the match on Feb. 15, the sheriff said.
Investigators in Philadelphia advised that Akhil Crumpton was the suspected shooter in their case, and Oconee investigators quickly established a link between Philadelphia and Athens, he said. Crumpton played football for UGA in 2017 and 2018. He was a student until 2021, according to the sheriff’s office.
The night of the shooting, Wood had been working alone on the graveyard shift when a customer found him dead behind the checkout counter about 2 a.m. and called authorities, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. Responding deputies administered CPR but were unable to revive him.
Authorities released photos and a sketch of a suspect wearing a mask that exposed only his eyes and nose, and not many of his other features were identifiable. The shooter was shown on the store’s surveillance camera walking with a peculiar gait and wearing a black ninja-like mask and hood with a drawstring pulled tight to his head. He also wore gloves, long sleeves, slacks and boots.
Video also showed the man running back and forth throughout the store before eventually leaving the scene, the AJC reported.
Though an arrest has been made, police are still investigating the case. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office at 706-769-3945.