Former College of Georgia footballer arrested for homicide of fuel station worker

A former University of Georgia football player was arrested in the brutal death of a gas station employee last year, authorities said.

Ahkil Nasir Crumpton, who played wide receiver for the Bulldogs in 2017 and 2018, was arrested in his hometown of Philadelphia on Wednesday for the March 2021 murder of 23-year-old cashier Elijah Wood at a RaceTrac gas station outside of Watkinsville, Georgia.

A chilling surveillance video from the gas station showed a suspect entering dressed all in black and holding a pistol. Nothing was stolen and investigators had offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the cold case break.

According to Oconee County Sheriff James Hale, investigators found ballistics evidence in February that suggests bullet casings found at the scene of a July homicide in Philadelphia matched those found at the Georgia gas station.

Ahkil Nasir Crumpton played wide receiver for the Bulldogs in 2017 and 2018.Oconee County, Georgia Sheriff’s Office

“Today is the day that Elijah Wood’s family, everyone here at the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, and our community have been waiting for,” Hale said in a statement. “WE GOT HIM!”

The arrest was made in cooperation with investigators from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Hale said.

Cops told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Crumpton will face gun counts in connection with the July murder there, but he had not been charged with the murder in that case as of Wednesday.

Detectives in Philadelphia suspect Crumpton was the shooter, Hale said. Authorities have not released the victim’s name publicly, but two handguns were recovered at the scene, a police officer told the Inquirer.

Years earlier, Crumpton received state and all-Catholic honors while playing soccer for West Catholic High School. He then went to Los Angeles Valley College in California before transferring to Georgia, the Inquirer reported.

Hale said Crumpton remained in Georgia as an undergraduate until 2021 but did not graduate, university officials told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

surveillance video.Surveillance video from the gas station showed a suspect entering dressed all in black and holding a pistol.Oconee County, Georgia Sheriff’s Office

surveillance video.Ahkil Nasir Crumpton is also facing gun charges in a July murder in Philadelphia. Oconee County, Georgia Sheriff’s Office

Wood of Watkinsville was working a graveyard shift alone when he was killed. A customer found him behind the counter and called the police, who tried to revive him but to no avail, the newspaper reported.

“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,” Hale said Wednesday. “We also know that the fight is not over yet. We must now successfully bring the case to court.”

The University of Georgia said it was “stunned” to learn the suspect in Wood’s murder is one of its former student athletes.

“We extend our heartfelt condolences to Elijah Wood’s family,” the school told WGCL. “We are reaching out to the FBI, ATF and the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office for further comment on this ongoing investigation.”

Elijah James Wood.Elijah James Wood was working alone on a graveyard shift when he was killed.Oconee County, Georgia Sheriff’s Office