The father-son duo caught on camera sparking the confrontation that led to the shooting death of unarmed black jogger Ahmaud Arbery were charged with murder on Thursday, authorities said.
Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, both armed, approached Arbery on Feb. 23 on a street in Brunswick, Georgia before Travis fatally shot the jogger, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
The McMichaels were also charged with aggravated assault, authorities said. They were in police custody as of Thursday night and will be booked at Glynn County Jail.
The case sparked national attention this week when video of the confrontation emerged on Tuesday.
The 28-second clip shows the father and son approach Arbery in their pickup truck before the shooting.
Travis can be seen getting out of the truck and scuffling with Arbery, who is hit with a shotgun blast and staggers a few feet before falling to the ground.
The arrests come after S. Lee Merritt, a lawyer for Arbery’s family, earlier Thursday called the shooting death a “modern lynching,” and said the family is demanding justice.
Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday that she’s still trying to make sense of the senseless tragedy.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be in a mental state where I can actually watch the video,” she said. “I had others that watched it that shared what they saw and that just was enough.”
The McMichaels told police they confronted Arbery because they believed he was a burglar that had been frequenting the neighborhood.
Police received two calls prior to the shooting, including a 911 call from Gregory McMichael, The Daily Mail reported Thursday. The calls provide chilling details of Arbery’s last moments of life.
“Hello, er, I’m out here in Satilla Shores,” he said during the call. “There’s a black male running down the street.”
McMichael is then heard saying, “Goddam it, c’mon, Travis.”
He does not respond again during the rest of the 4-minute, 45-second call, despite the police dispatcher repeatedly asking, ‘Hello, where you at?” the report said.
In a call to a nonemergency police number made just before the killing, an unidentified man reports a possible burglary in the neighborhood.
“There’s a guy in the house right now, a house under construction,” the caller says.
The home in question is about 500 yards from the McMichael’s home.
After a brief exchange, the unidentified caller tells the dispatcher, “He’s running down the street.”
“OK, that’s fine,” the officer says. “I’ll get them out there. I just need to know what he was doing wrong?”
The caller claimed the person had been spotted in the neighborhood before, and had “been caught on the camera a bunch before at night. It’s kind of an ongoing thing.”