Georgia state authorities said Friday that more arrests are possible in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, the black jogger who was killed while unarmed in February in the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Glynn County, Ga.
The director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Vic Reynolds, also shed light on his department’s swift decision to arrest two white men, a father and son, in connection with Arbery’s killing, two days after taking over the investigation from local authorities.
On Thursday, Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis, 34, were charged with murder and aggravated assault. The McMichaels are being held in the Glynn County Jail, according to a GBI press release. Gregory McMichael is a former investigator with a local district attorney’s office.
When asked about additional arrests, Reynolds replied, “Don’t know yet. We’re going to go wherever the evidence takes us.”
Cellphone video posted online earlier this week, which appeared to capture Arbery’s Feb. 23 murder, sparked national outcry and calls for arrests.
“We’re investigating everyone involved in the case, including the individual who shot the video,” Reynolds said.
The Thursday evening arrests of the McMichaels, who have said they were acting in self-defense, caps off several days of rapid developments in the Arbery case. It had stalled for more than two months with no charges filed. Two district attorneys had recused themselves from the case.
On May 5, after the video was released, Atlantic Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tom Durden requested GBI investigate the Arbery death. The local police department also asked for assistance from state authorities.
Reynolds said during the press conference that agents pored over the investigative file compiled by the local authorities most of the day on Wednesday. By about 5 p.m. Thursday, Reynolds said his agents “had established sufficient probable cause to seek arrest warrants” against the McMichaels.
When asked what his department saw in the case file that local authorities might have missed, Reynolds said, “I can’t answer what another agency did or didn’t see.”
“But I can tell you that based on our involvement in this case, considering the fact that we hit the ground running Wednesday morning, within 36 hours we had secured warrants for two individuals for felony murder. I think that speaks volumes for itself and that the probable cause was clear to our agents pretty quickly.”
Following the McMichaels’ arrests Thursday, family attorney Benjamin Crump tweeted, “it took 74 days but Ahmaud Arbery’s killers have finally been arrested!”