What we know so far about the Ahmaud Arbery shooting

’Ahmaud was kind’ - Mother of Ahmaud Arbery says he was loved by family and peers
’Ahmaud was kind’ - Mother of Ahmaud Arbery says he was loved by family and peers

The investigation into the shooting death of a 25-year-old black man is far from over, the GBI said Friday. But the Ahmaud Arbery killing has put the southeast Georgia town of Brunswick into the national spotlight.

Here is what we know about this case:

1. Ahmaud Marquez Arbery was shot Feb. 23 as he jogged through Satilla Shores, a mostly white community a few miles from his Brunswick home. Arbery loved sports and had once dreamed of a football career. Jogging was his way of staying fit, friends and family said. He was a 2012 graduate of Brunswick High School and later attended South Georgia Technical College.

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2. Two men pursued Arbery as he ran. Cellphone video released by an attorney starts with Arbery, dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, jogging at a leisurely pace. By the end of the roughly 36-second clip, he collapses after several shots are heard. Arbery died from his injuries. Greg and Travis McMichael, the father and son who confronted Arbery, told authorities they suspected Arbery of burglaries, and that he became violent when confronted.

Ahmaud Arbery is shown in an undated family photo.
Ahmaud Arbery is shown in an undated family photo.

3. Questions surround Arbery's death. More than five hours after her son's death, Wanda Cooper-Jones got a call from investigators, she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"Your son was involved in a robbery," Cooper-Jones said she was told. "There was a confrontation with a homeowner. There was a fight over the handgun. Your son was shot, and he was shot multiple times."

Arbery’s funeral was held Feb. 29. In addition to his parents, he is survived by a brother, sister, grandmother, two nephews and 10 aunts, according to his online obituary.

4. No charges were filed initially in the case. Greg McMichael, a former Glynn County cop, most recently worked as an investigator with the local district attorney's office.

• His former boss, Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson, eventually recused herself from the Arbery case.

• Waycross Judicial Circuit County's top prosecutor, Roger Barnhill, took over but stepped aside at the request of Arbery's family.

• On Thursday, May 7, the AJC learned that in his letter of recusal, Barnhill disclosed that his own son and Greg McMichael had helped with a previous prosecution of Arbery while working for DA Jackie Johnson's office.

• On Friday, May 8, two Glynn County commissioners said Johnson's office had refused to allow Glynn police officers to make arrests immediately after the shooting death. Johnson later denied this allegation.

5. Glynn officers threatened. On April 29th, the Glynn County Police Department requested that the GBI investigate allegations of threats against those involved in the investigation. When video of the shooting is released, the clip goes viral. Glynn police ask the GBI to investigate the video's release. By now, Arbery's case is the subject of countless social media posts by politicians, celebrities and other notables.

6. GBI charges the McMichaels with murder. Less than two days after taking over the investigation, the GBI announced the arrests of both McMichaels late Thursday. Both father and son were charged with murder and aggravated assault. At a press conference Friday morning, GBI director Vic Reynolds said additional arrests are possible in the case, which remains under investigation. Outside the Glynn County courthouse, hundreds attend a rally on what would've been Arbery's 26th birthday.

7. Georgia AG asks feds to investigate. Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr has asked the Department of Justice to look into how the investigation into Ahmaud Arbery's death was handled. Arbery's parents welcomed the news, according to their attorneys.

“We have requested the involvement of the DOJ since we first took this case,” the attorneys’ statement read. “There are far too many questions about how this case was handled and why it took 74 days for two of the killers to be arrested and charged in Mr. Arbery's death.”

8. Cobb DA to prosecute case. Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes will lead the prosecution of the McMichaels. Holmes is the fourth DA on the case.

— Christian Boone contributed to this article. 

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