RaceTrac store clerk shot to death in Oconee County identified

Deadly shooting took place at a convenience store in Watkinsville
Police are investigating an overnight shooting at an Oconee County RaceTrac that left a store clerk dead, according to reports. The shooting occurred between the hours of 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. Friday at the gas station located near the intersection of Hog Mountain Road and Highway 441.

Credit: File Photo

Credit: File Photo

Police are investigating an overnight shooting at an Oconee County RaceTrac that left a store clerk dead, according to reports. The shooting occurred between the hours of 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. Friday at the gas station located near the intersection of Hog Mountain Road and Highway 441.

Police are investigating an overnight shooting at an Oconee County RaceTrac that left a store clerk dead, according to reports.

Authorities have identified the victim as 23-year-old Elijah James Wood of Oconee County.

Deputies who responded to the scene administered CPR but were unable to revive him, police said.

The shooting occurred between the hours of 1 and 2 a.m. Friday at the gas station located near the intersection of Hog Mountain Road and Highway 441 in Watkinsville, just outside Athens.

A masked gunman was captured on the store’s surveillance, dressed in all black. The individual remains at large as of late Friday afternoon and is considered armed and dangerous, police said.

On 3/19/2021 at approximately 1:40 AM, we responded to a person shot call at the RaceTrac located at 7921 Macon Highway....

Posted by Oconee County Georgia Sheriff's Office on Friday, March 19, 2021

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office also posted a photograph of a potential witness on social media.

Police emphasized the witness, who appears to be a middle-aged white man, walking through the front door of the convenience store, was not a suspect in the case.

Sheriff’s officials did say, however, that it was “imperative that we speak with that individual,” according to a Facebook post, which included a surveillance photo of a white four-door pickup truck parked at the scene.

Police have not revealed the full circumstances of the shooting. As of Saturday, a Gofundme page had raised more than $28,000 for Wood’s funeral and arrangements.

“Elijah was a great man,” said brother-in-law James Lemmonds, who wrote a tribute to Wood on the fundraiser. “Huge in statue and in heart,” Lemmonds said, adding that Wood was killed just a week shy of his 24th birthday with his twin sister on March 26.

“He was a big family man and believed in family and always making special effort’s to be a part of the family. He loved his God and his country and was always willing to help anyone he felt was in need. He would go out of his way to check on you. He will be truly missed and always loved. This world has lost a treasure.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact detective Zach Eaton at (706) 769-3945 or email zeaton@oconeesheriff.org.

This is a developing story. Please stay with AJC.com for the latest details.

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