Records: 2 men charged in Arbery’s death previously confronted someone they thought was a burglar

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – A father and son facing murder charges in the death of Ahmaud Arbery previously confronted a person who they thought was a burglar, records show.

The News4Jax I-TEAM looked through previous police calls to the Satilla Shores neighborhood and found a 911 call from 2019 when Gregory McMichael told dispatchers about a time he confronted someone he suspected was a burglar.

“This is Greg McMichael. I’m a retired chief investigator with the DA’s Office,” the caller says.

While talking with dispatch, Gregory McMichael says there had been a series of break-ins in the neighborhood.

“We got a lot of break-ins out here -- automobile break-ins. And my son and I just discovered a guy. We think he may be living under a bridge under Fancy Bluff Bridge on 17,” Gregory McMichael says on the call. “We just went up there and made contact with him -- really shady looking fella. There’s a possibility he may be the one breaking into all these automobiles.”

Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son, 34-year-old Travis McMichael, were jailed on charges of felony murder and aggravated assault in the Feb. 23 shooting death of Arbery. The arrests didn’t come until after cellphone video of the fatal shooting surfaced more than two months later.

According to a Glynn County Police Department report, the father and son got their guns, got in a truck and chased Arbery through the Satilla Shores neighborhood. The report shows neighbor William “Roddie" Bryan Jr., who is credited with recording cellphone video of the shooting, left his home and attempted to block Arbery.

Gregory McMichael, a retired investigator for Brunswick District Attorney’s Office, told police he thought Arbery was a burglar. He said Arbery attacked his son before he was shot.

Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, has said she believes her son was merely out jogging.

On Thursday, the GBI announced that Bryan, 50, had been arrested on charges of felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment in Arbery’s death.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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