The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) on Thursday announced the arrest of two men – a father and a son – responsible for the February shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, 25.
Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, were taken into custody and booked into Glynn County Jail on charges of murder and aggravated assault.
The McMichaels are accused of pursuing and confronting Ahmaud Arbery on February 23 while Arbery was jogging through the neighborhood of Satilla Shores in Brunswick, Ga.
No charges were filed against the McMichaels for more than two months after the killing, prompting protests and outcry over racial profiling since the McMichaels are white and Arbery was black.
On Tuesday, a video capturing the shooting was leaked to the public. The video shows the McMichaels’ truck approaching Arbery as he jogged down the street. Travis McMichael, who was driving the truck, stopped and exited with a shotgun drawn, while Gregory McMichael remained in the bed of the truck armed with a handgun.
Arbery appeared to run on the passenger side of the truck away from Travis McMichael. The two engaged in a scuffle near the front of the truck, and two shots from Travis McMichael’s gun soon followed.
Arbery was shown collapsing to the ground, and a Glynn County Police Department report said he was pronounced dead on the scene.
The GBI is investigating how the video was leaked to the public.
The McMichaels told police they initially saw Arbery running through the neighborhood and believed him to be the suspect responsible for several break-ins in the neighborhood and caught on surveillance cameras.
Gregory McMichael retrieved a .357 magnum and Travis McMichael retrieved a shotgun before leaving their home and pursuing Arbery in their truck. The McMichaels claim they shouted, “stop, stop, we want to talk to you,” to Arbery and attempted to cut Arbery off with their truck, but he ran the opposite direction.
The video captures their final attempt to stop him.
— Shelby Danielsen (@NewsShelby) May 8, 2020
Gregory McMichael is a retired investigator with the Brunswick district attorney’s office, and previously worked with the GCPD as an officer for seven years, the New York Times reported.
His career ties prompted two previous prosecutors to recuse themselves from the case due to conflict of interest. Before he recused himself, George E. Barnhill of the Waycross Judicial District determined there was insufficient probable cause to arrest the McMichaels, who Barnhill believed had acted in self-defense and performed a legal citizen arrest.
Lee Merritt, a lawyer for the Arbery family, said, “This is murder,” of the video footage. “The series of events captured in this video confirm what all the evidence indicated prior to its release.”