Officer killed in Athens, Ga., shooting

/ Source: The Associated Press

One police officer was shot and killed and another badly wounded Tuesday as they were searching for a carjacking suspect in a Georgia college town, leading to a manhunt for the shooter, authorities said.

Senior Police Officer Tony Howard stopped a Chevrolet Suburban just before 1 p.m. in Athens when a passenger got out of the SUV and shot and wounded Howard, police said.

The driver of the Suburban was taken into custody, but the passenger ran from the vehicle and encountered another senior officer, Elmer "Buddy" Christian, according to authorities. He then shot and killed Christian in his patrol car, police said in a statement.

Howard underwent surgery at a hospital later, police Capt. Clarence Holeman told The Associated Press. Police said the officer was expected to recover from his gunshot wounds but they did not provide details about his condition.

A police statement said the shootings erupted near an apartment complex on the west side of Athens as officers were investigating reports of a kidnapping and carjacking.

Afterward, police fanned out along a major highway and conducted a house-by-house search for the 33-year-old armed suspect, who authorities said was still at large Tuesday evening. They said they also found a silver car believed connected to the case.

University of Georgia police chief Jimmy Williamson told local media outlets that students were sent an email warning to stay out of the area where the shooting occurred, which was about three miles from campus.

Several elementary schools and a pre-kindergarten program in the area were locked down as a precaution during the police search and an area school district canceled evening events at area schools because the suspect remained at large.

The slain officer leaves a wife, a son and a daughter.