Alleged Cop Killer Reportedly Says Officer 'Didn't Deserve It'

Officer Buddy Christian
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Jamie Hood, the man accused of killing a Georgia police officer, reportedly told cops as he was being taken in to custody that he was sorry for the shooting.

"I regret killing that officer," Hood reportedly told a WXIA-TV reporter after he surrendered Friday night at a home in Athens. "That officer. That innocent officer. I regret that. He didn't deserve that."

Hood, who was on the run for four days after allegedly killing one police officer and wounding another in a traffic stop Tuesday, took hostages at a house in Athens and told police he would only surrender if WXIA-TV, the NBC affiliate in Atlanta, covered it live.

When WXIA-TV reporter Doug Richards asked him why he had done it, Hood said he thought police were going to kill him.

"You know, they killed my brother," said Hood, whose brother was killed by police in 2001, while Hood was in prison on an armed robbery conviction. "They were going to kill me."

"He was convinced he was going to be killed by law enforcement," Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan said after the suspect surrendered.

Keenan went on TV Friday night as the standoff dragged on, promising Hood police would not hurt him if he turned himself in and freed the hostages.

Hood, 33, was ordered held without bond on murder and other charges for allegedly gunning down Athens-Clarke County Senior Police Officer Elmer "Buddy" Christian and wounding another officer on Tuesday

Christian and his partner, Senior Police Officer Tony Howard, pulled over the SUV Howard was riding in Tuesday to question him about a carjacking spree.

They had arrested the driver of the vehicle, when Hood allegedly got out and shot Howard in the face and upper body, then came and shot Christian, who was still sitting in the police car.

Christian's funeral was scheduled for today. He was an 8-year veteran of the Athens police department and was married with two young children.

Howard is expected to recover from his wounds.

The manhunt for Hood lasted four days, and Keenan said during some of that time the alleged cop killer hid in the woods, but somehow managed to get food, clothes and even a TV to keep up with the search.

Police finally caught up with Hood Friday, at an apartment where he was allegedly holding nine hostages.

After police surrounded the apartment, Hood released one group, but then said he would only surrender if there was live TV coverage.

Police, however, are now questioning whether the people inside with Hood were all really hostages or whether some were his friends.

Athens police Capt. Clarence Holeman said Saturday evening that authorities were still investigating, and were looking at what relationships there might have been between Hood and the hostages and how long he was actually at the house.

"We're just trying to get to the bottom of how it happened," Holeman said, according to The Associated Press.

None of the hostages have been charged with any crimes, he said.

One of the people Hood allegedly held hostage seemed to defend the murder suspect.

"Jamie didn't do no harm to none of us," Quinton Riden said outside the Athens-Clarke County police station, according to the AP. "He treated us like family."

An initial court hearing for Hood has not yet been set, and Hood's defense attorney, Jim Smith, did not return a message seeking comment Saturday.

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