Police arrest two men in shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery

May 7 (UPI) -- More than two months after Ahmaud Arbery was fatally shot while jogging near Brunswick, Georgia police arrested two men for the shooting, authorities said.

Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son, Travis McMichael, 34, were arrested and charged Thursday with murder and aggravated assault in Arbery's death and will be booked into the Glynn County Jail, authorities said.


The Georgia Bureau of Investigations said Arbery, 25, was shot and killed Feb. 23 in the Satilla shores neighborhood in Brunswick after being confronted by the pair with firearms.

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Arbery's father, said in a statement that it was "outrageous" that it took more than two months for them to be taken into police custody.

"This is the first step to justice. This murderous father and son duo took the law into their own hands," he said. "It's a travesty of justice that they enjoyed their freedom for 74 days after taking the life of a young black man who was simply jogging."


Friday would have been Arbery's 26 birthday, he added.

Charges were not initially filed against the McMichaels and Arbery's death failed to gain attention until a video of the shooting surfaced on the Internet earlier this week.

The video, shot from a vehicle trailing Arbery who is jogging along a street on a sunny day, shows Arbery confronted by the younger McMicael armed with what appears to be a shotgun. A shot is fired. The two men are seen fighting. A second shot is fired and the video ends.

According to a police report, the elder McMichael told police following the shooting that they thought Arbery looked like someone who was suspected of committing a series of break-ins in the area and chased after him. Travis fired his weapon in self-defense after Arbery attacked him, Gregory told police.

The autopsy showed that Arbery was shot three times.

Waycross District Attorney George Barnhill, who was initially assigned to the case, said in a letter that he did not bring charges against the three men as they were in "hot pursuit" of a burglary suspect with "solid first-hand probable cause."

He said the video is proof that the shooting was in self-defense.


"Given the fact Arbery initiated the fight, at the point Arbery grabbed the shotgun, under Georgia Law, McMichael was allowed to use deadly force to protect himself," he wrote.

Barnhill recused himself from the case after Arbery's mother said there was a conflict of interest as the elder McMichael had retired from another district attorney's office.

S. Lee Merritt, a lawyer for the Arbery family, said via Twitter after the video surfaced that it confirms Arbery was pursued by three white men who targeted him "solely because of his race and murdered him without justification."

"This is murder," Merritt said.

The video sparked outrage among the public, activists and NBA basketball star LeBron James, who tweeted about Arbery's death, offering his condolences, prayers and anger against the alleged injustice of the shooting.

"We're literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes! Can't even go for a damn jog, man!" LeBron said.

The morning of the video's release, the Glynn County Police Department, which was investigating the shooting, requested the Georgia Bureau of Investigations to "investigate the public release of video related to Arbery's death."

Gov. Brian Kemp said in a statement that same day that "Georgians deserve answers."


On Twitter Thursday, Crump called on authorities to arrest William "Roddie" Bryan as an accomplice to the crime.

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