Glynn County

Ahmaud Arbery case: Suspect Travis McMichael used racial slur after shooting, investigators say

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. — The three men charged with murder in the deadly shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Glynn County man, will remain in custody.

On Thursday, the cases against against Gregory and Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan were bounded over by a magistrate court judge. Their cases will now move to superior court and they will remain in custody.

The McMichaels appeared in court via video while Bryan did not appear in the courtroom or via video. Bryan’s lawyer Kevin Gough waived his appearance.

Here are the details presented in court on Thursday:

  • Investigators say several pieces of video from multiple locations in Satilla Shores -- where the shooting took place -- has allowed them to piece together timeline leading up to the shooting of Arbery.
  • Investigators say neither Gregory or Travis McMichael called 911 before arming themselves, getting in truck, and following Arbery down Satilla Shores Drive.
  • ‘YOU GOT HIM?’ | Investigators tell judge that’s what William “Roddie” Bryan yelled from his front yard when he saw the McMichaels chasing Ahmaud Arbery. They say he then got in his truck and joined the chase, attempted to block in the 25-year-old. Investigator said Bryan tried to block Arbery in multiple times.
  • The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said there is body cam video of Gregory McMichael at the scene talking to police. An investigator said McMichael said, “he didn’t know if Arbery had stolen anything, but had a gut feeling that Arbery was involved in burglaries in the neighborhood.”
  • GBI investigator says the gun that was on Gregory McMichael at the time of the shooting was the same gun he carried as an officer with the Glynn County Police Department.
  • GBI investigator said Travis McMichael admitted to shooting Ahmaud Arbery three times.
  • GBI said Bryan told police that he heard Travis McMichael say “f****** n-word” after the shooting while Ahmaud Arbery was on the ground.
  • GBI says Gregory McMichael called Bryan an “ally” in a jail phone call with someone.
  • State called Arbery’s death a hunting/execution.
  • Arbery had contact w/Bryan’s vehicle at one point -- there was a dent & cotton fibers from a white shirt found on Bryan’s truck
  • GBI said Ahmaud was an avid runner -- the shooting happened 2.5 miles from his home.
  • Gregory McMichael posted about the shooting on Facebook and described what happened to someone on a phone call. Photos of the crime scene were posted to social media by the McMichael family.
  • GBI seeking Travis McMichael’s Facebook records and comments made on Instagram before the shooting. Travis said on Facebook “arm up” and “better hope they don’t come to this side of the neighborhood.” GBI believes this was in reference to break-ins in the neighborhood.
  • GBI said it is looking for calls made by Travis McMichael and communications between defendants.
  • Confederate flag sticker is on the toolbox of Travis McMichael’s truck. GBI said it was captured in a video.
  • GBI said people who lived in the Satilla Shores neighborhood told investigators Arbery did run through the neighborhood before the shooting happened. One would talk to Arbery sometimes.
  • GBI says there is evidence Travis McMichael has used the “n-word” numerous times on social media, and through messaging. Saying “I loved my job because I was out on a boat and there were no n-words.”
  • GBI said Travis &nd Gregory McMichael told police they told Arbery to stop and get on the ground multiple times. GBI also said Arbery changed direction multiple times trying to get away.
  • McMichael attorney suggested Arbery was trying to get in their truck while being chased. GBI: “I’d say Mr. Arbery was trying to escape.” Defense also brought up Arbery’s mental health history. Arbery family attorney S. Lee Merritt said questions about Arbery’s character is what made his mom leave.
  • GBI investigator: “I believe he ran until he couldn’t run anymore. I think his decision was to get away, when he felt he could not escape, he chose to fight.”


Action News Jax reported earlier that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced the arrests of Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael on May 7 -- on charges of murder and aggravated assault.

The charges stem from an incident on Feb. 23 in the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Brunswick. The GBI said Arbery was confronted by the McMichaels with firearms and during the encounter Travis McMichael shot and killed Arbery.

A video of the incident was posted online, over a month after Arbery’s death, gaining national attention and reigniting the case. William “Roddie” Bryan, the man who recorded the video, was also arrested on May 21 and faces felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment, the GBI said.


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