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March 14, 2007
Albany -- A cold blooded murder was committed in East Albany overnight, and the killer's voice may be on tape.
Forty-three-year-old Jack Camp, a former EMT, was gunned down outside Regency Apartments on Tompkins Avenue just before one Wednesday morning.
Moments before Camp was shot, he called 911 to report a suspicious person. And we're told that on that 911 tape you can hear a man's voice ask Camp why he called 911.
That may well be the voice of the killer, but you can't hear it, because Albany Police won't release the tape. They say they're trying to enhance the audio tape before releasing it to the media.
Camp's 911 call came in at 12:44AM. There was no more contact with him. Eight minutes later, someone else called 911 to report a body on the ground. It was Camp, dead of a gunshot to the head.
Jack Camp was widely known in the medical and law enforcement communities. He used to be deputy coroner here. He lived at Regency Apartments and worked as a courtesy officer there. He was apparently checking out a suspicious person report when he was murdered.
People who live at the complex on Tompkins Avenue, heard a gunshot just before 1:00 AM. "I heard a gunshot." Just one? "Just one," says Darryl Harris.
The one shot that killed Jack Camp. "I was watching television and looked out the window but I didn't see anybody," says Harris.
But soon, he would know the tragic details. Camp, a friend, neighbor and security officer in the Regency Club Apartments had been murdered.
"When I first heard it, my heart dropped," says Harris. "It's a real hurting feeling to hear that about Jack."
Camp worked as a courtesy officer for the apartment complex. If another tenant saw something suspicious, they gave him a call.
"He would go and check it out and if it was somebody that wasn't supposed to be around there he would make sure the complex was safe," says Chuck Mitchell.
That's what Camp was trying to do last night. He apparently got a call about a suspicious person and went to check it out. Camp called 911, but before police arrived, he was shot in the head.
"It will never be the same," says Mitchell. "Jack was my deputy commander, he was my right hand man."
Chuck Mitchell knew Camp for more than 15 years. The two worked together on the Albany Search and Rescue team. Camp was deputy commander.
In the Flood of 1994, Jack Camp dove into the murky waters of the swollen Flint River to retrieve the body of a little boy swept away in his car seat.
Jack Camp worked as a Dougherty County EMT for ten years, previously served as deputy coroner, worked security at Palmyra Medical Centers and moonlighted as a bounty hunter.
Mitchell says Camp was recuperating from back surgery and was walking with a cane. "If there was a situation where he got into a struggle or something, he could easily have been overtaken," says Mitchell.
But now it's Mitchell who's overtaken with grief at the loss of a man who was much more than a work acquaintance. Mitchell says, "He was a brother. He will be sorely missed."
Among his survivors are two law enforcement officers, George and Vic Camp.
Albany Police have enlisted help from every law enforcement agency in the county, including the Marine Base to help track down Camp's killer.
Albany Police say they are trying digitally enhance Camp's 911 call and a video of the shooter running away from the scene. They say they plan to release that to the media as soon as those updates are complete, in order to help find the killer.
If you have any information about this shooting, call crime stoppers at 436- TIPS.
So who was Jack Camp? In addition to working as a courtesy officer at the apartment complex where he lived. Camp volunteered a lot of his time to Albany Search and Rescue. He was deputy commander.
Last March when Camp helped with a search at the Flint River. He even tried to find missing Ocilla teacher Tara Grinstead. That was one of many hats Camp wore.
He also worked part time security at Palmyra Medical Center, worked as a Dougherty County EMT, and served as the deputy coroner from 1994 to 2004. Camp was also a bounty hunter.
His friend, Chuck Mitchell, says Camp was always looking for adventure. "He enjoyed life. He really did. At times I couldn't get him to slow down. He burned the candle at both ends. He really enjoyed everything he did and brought that joy to everybody that was involved with him. He will be sorely missed."
Jack Camp leaves behind several children and a fiance'.