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Slain police officer mourned by thousands

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Thousands of people mourned a slain Georgia police officer whose killing led to a days-long manhunt for a suspect who surrendered on live television.

Almost 2,500 people -- including law enforcement officers from this state and elsewhere -- packed the Classic Center theater for the funeral of Athens-Clarke County Officer Elmer "Buddy" Christian, the Athens Banner-Herald reported.

Hundreds more lined the streets as a horse-drawn hearse took his body to Evergreen Memorial Park for burial. One of Christian's hobbies was shoeing horses for friends and family.

Jamie Hood, 33, fatally shot Christian on Tuesday and also shot and seriously wounded Officer Tony Howard, police say. Hood was taken into custody late Friday after requesting that a news crew document his surrender.

Hood had been holed up with nine hostages in an Athens apartment. Five exited the apartment along with him. Hours earlier, he had released four others.

The suspect was arrested and charged with murder and 13 other felonies. More charges are likely, police said.


Vacaville resident hurt by bomb in newspaper

VACAVILLE, Calif. (AP) -- A person was wounded when a pipe bomb hidden in a newspaper exploded at a residence in a San Francisco Bay area suburb, authorities said.

The explosion in Vacaville occurred at about 10 a.m. Sunday and forced the evacuation of surrounding homes. The victim was airlifted to a hospital, although the extent of the person's injuries was not immediately clear.

Police say the bomb was wrapped in a Sunday newspaper. Investigators apparently found another pipe bomb in the same neighborhood.

Authorities were advising residents within a half-mile radius of the explosion not to approach any package or item delivered Sunday morning.


Lightning strike forces jetliner back to airport

ATLANTA (AP) -- An airplane bound for Detroit from Atlanta was hit by lightning shortly after takeoff and returned to the airport as storms rumbled through the state.

AirTran Airways spokesman Christopher White says the plane was hit soon after it took off at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday. There was a brief, minor issue with one of the two engines, he said, and the captain decided to return to the gate as a precaution.

The Boeing 717 landed and taxied to the gate, where the 94 passengers disembarked. A new plane was brought in, White said, and the flight continued as planned.

White said that it is not unusual for planes to be struck by lightning and that they are built to withstand it.

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