ATHENS, Ga. – Authorities are closing streets to make way for throngs of mourners at Sunday's funeral for a slain Georgia police officer whose killing prompted a days-long manhunt for a suspect whose surrender unfolded on live television.
Police have said Jamie Hood, 33, had been holed up with nine hostages at an Athens apartment. He eventually surrendered late Friday, releasing five people who had been in the apartment with him. Hours earlier he had released four others. Athens police Capt. Clarence Holeman said Saturday that authorities were investigating what, if any, relationship Hood had with the others in the apartment.
Investigators were also looking into how long Hood had been at the apartment.
"We're just trying to get to the bottom of how it happened," Holeman said. None of the hostages has been charged with any crimes, he said.
As Hood was being taken into custody late Friday, he told WXIA-TV in a brief videotaped interview, "I regret killing that officer."
When asked what he meant, a handcuffed Hood said on tape, "That officer. That innocent officer. I regret that ..." Asked for more details, Hood said, "You know, they killed my brother. They were going to kill me."
Hood was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 1997 for armed robbery and was released in 2009. In 2001, while Hood was serving time, his 22-year-old brother Timothy Hood was shot and killed by an Athens police officer. Investigators said at the time that Timothy Hood pulled a gun on an officer and was shot when the weapon jammed.
Meanwhile, officials were expecting a large crowd for the funeral of slain officer Elmer "Buddy" Christian. The 34-year-old was married with two young children. Athens, about 75 miles northeast of Atlanta, is home to the University of Georgia.
He was killed Tuesday, when officers began an intense search for Hood.
Officers had stopped Hood while he was in an SUV in West Athens early Tuesday afternoon, seeking to question him in connection with a carjacking and kidnapping, police said. The vehicle's driver was arrested, but police say Hood got out of the vehicle and shot another officer, Tony Howard, in the face and upper body. Hood then fatally shot Christian as he sat in the patrol car, authorities said. Howard is recovering.
Athens police Capt. Clarence Holeman said Saturday evening that authorities were continuing to investigate the circumstances of the standoff, including any relationships between Hood and the hostages.
The manhunt for Hood came to a dramatic close around Friday night. Authorities said at 11:15 p.m. Friday, he walked out of an apartment complex surrounded by five of the nine adults and children that had been held for hours as he negotiated with authorities. None appeared to be hurt.
The tattooed, head-shaven Hood was immediately swarmed by tactical officers and did not resist.
An initial court hearing for Hood had not been immediately set. His defense attorney, Jim Smith, did not return a message seeking comment.