The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) announced last night a father and son were arrested and charged with murdering 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, a man whose shooting death in February has sparked protests.
Investigators said 34-year-old Travis McMichael while with his father, Gregory, 64, shot and killed Arbery, in Brunswick. Video posted online earlier this week sparked outcry and calls for police to arrest the McMichaels, who had said they thought Arbery was a burglar.
The video showed an African American man jogging down a residential street before he encountered the McMichaels and a pickup truck parked on the side of the road. He appeared to jog around their vehicle, into the road’s shoulder.
But, as he neared the front, a gunshot rang out and the jogger was seen struggling with a man holding a shotgun or rifle. They moved out of the frame, and another shot was heard. They came back into view, with a long-barreled gun held to the jogger’s midsection – and a third shot sounded off.
Moments later, he collapsed in the road.
Another man was seen in the video holding a handgun in the bed of the pickup.
Arbery was jogging in broad daylight in the Satilla Shores neighborhood when the McMichaels confronted him on Feb. 23, according to the GBI.
The older McMichael reportedly saw him jogging and called 911 to report “a black man running down the street” and said he suspected the man was involved in recent burglaries. He called his son, and the pair armed themselves — then tracked Arbery down on the road, investigators said.
The younger McMichael, Travis, allegedly shot and killed Arbery during the encounter.
According to the police report, Gregory McMichael told officers he and his son first tried to stop Arbery by shouting, “Stop, stop, we want to talk to you!”
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said “Georgians deserve answers” in the case, and his wife, Marty Kemp, tweeted she was “deeply troubled” by the video.
“State law enforcement stands ready to ensure justice is served,” the governor tweeted.
Later that day, the GBI announced that District Attorney Tom Durden formally requested the bureau to join the investigation into Arbery’s death. The arrests followed two days later.
The McMichaels each faced charges of murder and aggravated assault, according to the GBI, and will be booked into the Glynn County Jail.