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Arrests made, investigation continues in Arbery killing
Atlantic Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tom Durden addresses a group of reporters Friday morning during a press conference regarding the arrest of two men charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery. Far right is GBI Director Dick Reynolds. Photo by Lewis Levine.
The two men allegedly responsible for the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery on Feb. 23 were arrested Thursday evening, according to Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Dick Reynolds.

During a press conference held Friday morning in Brunswick, Reynolds said Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, are charged with felony murder and aggravated assault.

Reynolds thanked Arbery’s family for their continued patience and said he appreciated the patience of a community, “emotionally worn pretty thin.”

Reynolds gave an overview of the timeline of the GBI’s investigation.

On February 23, 2020, Arbery was in the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Brunswick, GA when both Gregory and Travis McMichael confronted Arbery with two firearms, Reynolds said.  During the encounter, Travis McMichael shot and killed Arbery.

On April 13, the investigation was turned over to Atlantic Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tom Durden after other prosecutors recused themselves from the case. Gregory McMichael is a former police officer and was later an investigator for the Brunswick District Attorney’s Office.

Reynolds said on the evening of May 5, Durden requested the GBI investigate the case. He said he quickly assembled a team of agents and by Wednesday morning they were reviewing the original case files and canvassing the neighborhood. He said by Thursday morning they had sufficient probable cause to issue arrest warrants.

The GBI arrested the father and son duo at 7:45 p.m. Thursday evening.

“They are now in Glynn County Jail,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds was asked if the folks who made or released the video tape, which was leaked online Tuesday, would also face charges.

“This case is still an active case,” Reynolds said. “Agents will continue to work this case to see if any additional arrests will be made.”

Reynolds, however, would not comment on whether public officials who previously handled the case prior to Durden would be charged or terminated.

Reporters questioned why the GBI didn’t handle the investigation sooner. Reynolds explained that the GBI can only become involved when asked. Durden said he received the case the second week of April and after reviewing the case file with his team he made the request.

Immediately following the press conference, a rally was held to honor Arbery’s memory. Today would have been his 26th birthday. Folks around the nation were encouraged to run or walk 2.23 miles and join the cause in the fight for his justice in his case.

Arbery’s mom, Wanda Cooper, spoke and said she still fears for the lives of her nephews and family. She said she was pleased to see everyone standing together for her son and for justice.

“We all need to stick together,” she said.

She said she still can’t believe she will never see her son’s face again.

“His smile was contagious,” she said.

The Arbery investigation is active and ongoing. If anyone has information related to these cases, please contact the GBI at 1-800-597-TIPS (8477).

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