UPDATE – (5/8) – BRUNSWICK, Ga. (WIAT & CNN) — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has arrested and charged two men accused in the deadly shooting of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery.
According to GBI officials, Gregory and Travis McMichael were arrested Thursday night around 7:45 p.m. and were taken to the Glynn County jail in Georgia.
The press release from Georgia Bureau of Investigation:
“On May 7, 2020, the GBI arrested Gregory McMichael, age 64, and Travis McMichael, age 34, for the death of Ahmaud Arbery. They were both charged with murder and aggravated assault. The McMichaels were taken into custody and will be booked into the Glynn County Jail.
“On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery was in the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Brunswick, GA when both Gregory and Travis McMichael confronted Arbery with two firearms. During the encounter, Travis McMichael shot and killed Arbery.
“This case is being investigated in partnership with District Attorney Tom Durden.”
On Tuesday, District Attorney Tom Durden formally requested the GBI investigate the death of Ahmaud Arbery. The Kingsland Office initiated an investigation on May 6.
On April 29, the Glynn County Police Department requested that the GBI investigate allegations of threats against GCPD and individuals involved in the active investigation. On Tuesday morning, GCPD requested the GBI investigate the public release of video related to Arbery’s death.
These investigations are all active and ongoing. If anyone has information related to these cases, please contact the GBI at 1-800-597-TIPS (8477).
Authorities say that both men are facing charges of felony murder for the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, who was chased down by the two men as he was simply taking a job Sunday, February 23rd.
Friday is Ahmad Arbery’s birthday. He would have been 26 years old.
ORIGINAL (5/7) — The Georgia Bureau of investigations say that they will be looking into the killing of an unarmed black jogger.
The deadly shooting happened more than two months ago. Many are questioning why no arrests have been made. Family and friends say that anyone who knew 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery knew that he loved to run.
“Unless it was pouring rain down outside, Ahmaud was going to be running,” said Demetrist Frazier, Arbery’s friend. “Ahmaud is very humble, inspiring.”
But somehow, on a sunny Sunday in a coastal Georgia community, Arbery’s run became a deadly chase. According to police reports, at 1 p.m. Feb. 23, Arbery was seen in the Satilla Shores neighborhood, where residents say there have been break-ins recently. He was walking around a home under construction and then is spotted running in the road. His presence triggered calls to 911.
Here is a transcript of one call:
Dispatcher: “And you said someone is breaking into it right now?”
Caller: “No it’s all open, it’s under construction. And he’s running right now, here he goes right now.”
Dispatcher: “Ok, what is he doing?”
Caller: “He’s running down the street.”
According to the police report, Greg McMichael, who happens to also be a former Brunswick District Attorney investigator, was standing in his front yard when he saw what he thought was the suspect in the neighborhood break-ins, as he puts it “hauling a**”, down the street.”
McMichael, a retired Glynn County Police officer, and his son 34-year-old, Travis McMichael, grabbed a handgun and a shotgun. According the police documents, they jumped into a truck and began following Arbery.
The report goes on to describe how the father and son, along with another man, tried repeatedly cut to him off. Each time, Arbery ran around them, trying to escape.
Eventually, the father and son manage to get ahead of Arbery using their truck to block his path with Travis McMichael on the street holding a shotgun.
The worlds of the runner and the chasers collided violently. It’s the moment captured by an unidentified person in the video that CNN has not been able to authenticate, allegedly depicting a fight for the shotgun, three shots and Arbery was down, dying in the street.
Marcus Arbery Sr., Ahmaud’s Father says, “I want to see these people go to jail,” father Marcus Arbery r. said. “Go to prison, whatever. They need the harshest crime they can get. Because that was uncalled for. I’m telling you. That’s just hate and murder. I want to see justice for him.”
Critics contend there has been no arrest because the man with the shotgun is the son of a former police officer from the same department initially investigating the case.
In fact, because of the father’s law enforcement connections, two District Attorneys recused themselves.
Before he quit, the second DA in a letter said Travis McMichael was acting in self-defense when he killed Arbery and that the pursuit by two armed white men of an unarmed young black man was perfectly legal under Georgia’s citizen’s arrest law.
Outraged, Arbery’s friends and family fear history is being overlooked in the pandemic that also kept protesters at home.
“There are a lot of people who are discouraged and believe that this is going to be one of the cases that have happened in the nation, where life was lost and justice was not rendered,” said John Perry of the NAACP’s Brunswick chapter.
But the video has now trumped pandemic concerns.
2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden spoke about Ahmaud Arbery during virtual town hall event, while he was addressing African-American issues and concerns saying.
“By now, many of us have seen that harrowing footage of Ahmaud Arbery out on a jog on a beautiful day in February in Florida, sorry, in Georgia, shot down in cold blood, a senseless lynch before our very eyes 2020 style. Lynched so plainly unmistakable without mercy.”
Biden goes on to say, “And his family and the country deserve justice and they deserve it now. They deserve a swift, full and transparent investigation of this brutal murder. But our nation deserves it as well. We need to reckon with this. This goes on. These vicious acts call to mind the darkest chapters of our history. And more recently, the awful specter of white supremacists on the march in Charlottesville, Virginia. A massacre in the house of worship and a rising pandemic of hate.”
When asked about the tragic incident, President Trump spoke about Arbery, saying he was geting a full report that evening.
“My heart goes out to the parents and to the loved ones of the young gentleman,” Trump said. “That’s a very sad thing. But I will be given a full report this evening.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp both spoke about the tragic shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery.
“Earlier this week I watched the video of Mr. Aubrey’s last moments alive,” Kemp said. “I can tell you it is absolutely horrific and Georgians deserve answers. I have full confidence in the investigations and I know they will be working around the clock to investigate and find the truth. We are living in unprecedented times. COVID-19 has threatened our health and well-being but I’m encouraged by our progress. I am confident that if we remain vigilant, we’ll emerge from this victorious.”
“The community has united,” Glynn County business owner Jeff Guest said. “As you seen out here there’s members of all races.”
Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper, said that she has not seen the video, and never will.
“I haven’t viewed the video,” Cooper said. “I don’t think I’ll ever reach the mental capacity to ever watch the video. I saw my son come into the world and seeing leave the world is not something.. that I’d want to see ever.”
Friday would have been Ahmaud Arberry’s 26th birthday. His father said there would have been a celebration, and afterward his son would have stepped out the door for a run.
No one has spoken to the McMichael family at this time. Gregory McMichael said he will not be commenting because he is under investigation.
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