On March 22, 2011, Senior Police Officer Buddy Christian was shot and killed while responding to an incident where another officer had been shot and wounded at an apartment complex in Athens, Georgia (USA).
Multiple officers were investigating a carjacking and kidnapping incident when one officer stopped a vehicle owned by a relative of the carjacking suspect. The suspect exited the vehicle and shot and wounded the officer twice before fleeing on foot.
Officer Christian had just responded to the area when he encountered the suspect. The suspect shot and killed Officer Christian through the window of his patrol vehicle. The suspect fled the scene and remained at large until he was apprehended three days later.
A native of Madison County, Georgia, Elmer “Buddy” Christian III, was the son of Elmer “Bud” Basco Christian II and Carolyn Roberts Christian, and the older brother of Jason Christian. He was a graduate of Madison County High School and served as a Senior Police Officer with the Athens-Clarke County Police Department for teight years. Buddy was a member of the Clarke County Police Honor Guard.
Buddy was a volunteer fireman and former Chaplain for the Hull (Georgia )Fire Department; he worked security at Georgia Square Mall, was a part-time employee at Bernstein Funeral Home, and a horse farrier for family and friends. Buddy was an active member of Hull Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon, Sunday school teacher, sound operator, as well as an Awana youth group leader.
Buddy became a jack of all trades, and many of his jobs overlapped each other. In order to provide for his family, Buddy always worked at least 2, if not 3, jobs.
He married his high school sweetheart, Melissa, in February of 1996. He fondly referred to her as his princess and treated her as such.
They were blessed with their first child Callie in January of 2006. He called her his buttercup and she had him wrapped around his finger from day one.
They were blessed with their little man Wyatt in October of 2008. Buddy imagined all of the things he would teach his son to do.
Buddy is remembered as a man who loved his family and worked hard to provide for them. Even though he worked crazy hours and long hours sometimes, he always found time for his wife and children. He enjoyed swinging them on the swing set he built for them, and riding them on his tractor. We loved going to the park and playing. He would always tuck them in bed at night by telling them stories or singing songs.
Buddy joined the Athens-Clarke County Police Department in December 2002. He worked as a patrol officer for the west side unit and later became a traffic officer for the motorcycle unit. In February 2006 Buddy took a three-year hiatus from police work to work for the traffic engineering division of the Athens-Clarke. He installed and fixed traffic signals and signs for the county before returning to police work as a patrol officer in 2009. He returned to police work because he couldn’t get it out of his blood. It was what he loved to do. Long-time friends say Christian liked the camaraderie of the police force and enjoyed trying to help, even talking to the people he arrested about making better decisions in the future.
Buddy had aspirations of becoming a Chaplain for the department as well. The police department gave Buddy an avenue to be able to help people on a daily basis. He would visit the children in the neighborhoods and routinely would give out stickers or stuffed animals. Buddy made it his every day goal to make people smile and that he did.
Buddy will forever be missed.