Ahmaud Arbery shooting: GBI gives exclusive insight into arrests, future of case

ATLANTA — We’re learning more about how authorities went through the murder case of Ahmaud Arbery and made arrests in the case.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation held a news conference Friday at 9 a.m. to go over its timeline of how they took over the case.

We have a crew in Glynn County following every new development in this case. Stay with Channel 2 Action News throughout the day.

Facts of the case

Agents arrested Gregory and Travis McMichael Thursday night in Glynn County. They were both charged with murder and aggravated assault.

Arbery was shot and killed on Feb. 23 in southeast Georgia when his family and friends said he was out on an afternoon jog. Cellphone video showing the moment Arbery was killed has prompted national outrage since surfacing online this week.

[Watch the full video here. WARNING: Video is graphic]

GBI timeline

GBI Director Vic Reynolds said his agency became involved in the case late Tuesday night. By Wednesday morning, he said agents were already pouring through the case file. He said agents reviewed what had been done in the case, and what needed to be done in the case.

By Wednesday around 5 p.m., Reynolds said his agents had a conference call where they established probable cause for arrest.

[DOWNLOAD: WSB-TV’s News App for updates on this developing story]

By 6 p.m., agents began securing arrest warrants, Reynolds said.

After warrants secured, Reynolds said agents began putting plans together to arrest Gregory and Travis McMichael.

Around 7:45 p.m. Thursday, agents were able to arrest the suspects peacefully.

Are more arrests possible?

Reynolds spoke about the possibility of more arrests in the case. He said that investigation remains active and ongoing.

“If in fact the facts takes them to make another arrest in the case, they will do that,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said agents will remain in the area to continue their investigation. They’re continuing to look at all of the evidence in the case.

Reynolds said “every stone will be uncovered.”

Exclusive Insight Into the Case

Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne spoke exclusively on Friday to the GBI director and the team handpicked to handle the investigation.

The team says it was important to follow the facts and restore the public's trust.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation deputy director Scott Dutton says the agents with him are part of a GBI dream team assigned to investigate a nightmarish video and the facts surrounding it.

GBI inspector Eve Rodgers says she, Americus special agent in charge Terry Howard, local special agent in charge Stacy Carson and Cyrus Purdiman, assistant special agent in charge of a GBI drug office, were all present for the McMichaels’ arrest at their home.

“I was seeing a community that I live in divide, and it was hard to watch,” Carson said.

“They appeared to be surprised that we were there,” Purdiman said of the McMichaels.

“They were cooperative. Somewhat surprised,” Howard said.

When asked if he personally blessed the decision to go ask a judge to sign the arrest warrants, Reynolds told Winne, “absolutely.”

“When we had our conference call with our boots on the ground agents, they laid the facts out (and) we went around the table and agreed 100 percent every man and woman in there that probable cause existed they looked at me sitting in the director seat and I said, ‘absolutely, proceed on,’" Reynolds said.

“Hopefully we restored some sense of confidence in law enforcement,” Carson said.

“Bringing someone to justice for the family, that’s the satisfaction from working these type cases,” Howard said.


Supporters across the country are asking people to run 2.23 miles Friday on what would have been Arbery’s 26th birthday. The number 2.23 signifies the date Arbery was shot and killed. Arbery’s family and friends said he had been out for an afternoon jog when he was targeted and killed.

Arbery’s mother spoke on ‘Good Morning America’ Thursday morning and said she wants people to know that her son was a kind person.

“Ahmaud carried the most humble spirit. Ahmaud was kind. He was well-mannered. Ahmaud most of all was loved by his family and peers,” Wanda Cooper-Jones said.

How Gov. Kemp is reacting

During a news conference Thursday afternoon, Gov. Brian Kemp had strong words about the killing.

“Earlier this week, I watched a video depicting Mr. Arbery’s last moments alive. It is absolutely horrific, and Georgians deserve answers,” Kemp said. “I have confidence in Vic Reynolds and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. I know they will work around the clock to thoroughly and independently investigate Mr. Arbery’s death to find the truth. In these moments, please pray for his loved ones, the local community, and our state."

President Trump weighs in

The outcry over the killing reached the White House, where President Donald Trump offered condolences Thursday to Arbery’s family.

“I saw the tape, and it’s very, very disturbing. The tape. I got to see it. It’s very disturbing,” he said of the video.

Trump told “Fox and Friends” he had also seen a photo of Arbery wearing a tuxedo and that he “looks like a really good young guy.”

“It’s a very disturbing situation to me, and I just, you know, my heart goes out to the parents and the family and the friends,” he said.

We will have complete coverage of this case through every development, on Channel 2 Action News.

Comments on this article