‘A piece of me is gone’ Coach reflects on Ahmaud Arbery’s life one year after shooting

SATILLA SHORES, Ga. – Tuesday, February 23, marks one year since 25-year old Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed while running in the Satilla Shores neighborhood near Brunswick. Three men are now charged with murder in Arbery’s case. But those arrests didn’t come until months later after a cell phone video recorded by one of the defendants showing his death surfaced online.

Tuesday, the public is invited to attend a memorial walk and candlelight vigil in Satilla Shores.

RELATED: Times and locations of vigils

On a morning where one could expect to see neighbors out and about, the roads in Satilla Shores are quiet. The space where a small memorial once stood now lays empty. Arbery’s high school football coach, Jason Vaughn, says the community still holds onto his memory.

“A woman in the community, she said every morning, she walks her dog,” Vaughn said. “When she walks her dog, she’s expecting to see Maud just coming around the corner.”

Arbery’s death hit Vaughn hard. He remembers Arbery as a driven linebacker when he played for him at Brunswick High School. But off the field, Arbery’s winning smile and flare for cracking jokes are what stand out most in his mind.

“He gave me a hard time and picked on me a whole lot. It was all out of good fun to get me smiling,” Vaughn said. “It’s just a piece of me gone.”

With the tragedy, a community rallied. Vaughn co-founded the 2:23 Foundation with Arbery’s cousin, a platform dedicated to addressing issues of racial injustice. There, people post online and share their reasons for running.

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