Oconee County store worker shot dead, sheriff’s office searching for killer

A gas station employee was fatally shot on the job early Friday morning in Oconee County. MPs are looking for the shooter who they say should be considered armed and dangerous.

It happened around 1:40 p.m. at the RaceTrac located at 7921 Macon Highway. Investigators said it was the first homicide in the county in two years.

The victim has been identified as Elijah Wood, 23.

“It was a terrible crime that took place,” Sheriff James Hale told a news conference.

Relatives said Wood was about a week away from celebrating his 24th birthday.

On Saturday, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office released a new video from inside the store.

Investigators said the shooter entered the store covered head to toe in black clothing, pointed his handgun at Wood and pulled the trigger.

“It’s a tough day here at the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. We knew Elijah,” the sheriff said.

Sheriff Hale said a customer found Wood lying on the ground.

“We weren’t able to review all of the camera footage. We don’t know for sure if anything was taken from the store, so we’re trying to put all that information together. We don’t want to speculate what the motive was. and what are the ways this happened,” Sheriff Hale said.

Deputies arrived on the scene, beginning CPR and other lifesaving measures, but were unsuccessful. Doctors soon after and pronounced him dead at the scene.

Wood’s brother-in-law says the 23-year-old is huge in size and heart.

Those close to him shared that he believed in family and loved God.

“They were devastated. We went to their house and woke them up in the middle of the night to let them know their loved one had been shot at a convenience store where they worked,” the sheriff said.

Only Wood and the shooter were in the store at the time of the shooting, deputies said.

His family has set up a fundraiser to help cover his funeral expenses.

The sheriff’s office urges witnesses or anyone who may know the shooter to call 706-769-3945.

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