- Less than two weeks before Ahmaud Arbery was killed while jogging, Travis McMichael confronted him, a neighbour told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- The neighbour, Diego Perez, said Arbery had been walking around a construction site when its property owner got an alert from a motion-sensor.
- Perez, himself armed, walked to the property. Travis, who also arrived at the scene, confronted Arbery, Perez said.
- Travis and his father, Gregory McMichael, have since been arrested on charges of murdering Arbery.
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Twelve days before Ahmaud Arbery was killed, Travis McMichael had a confrontation with him in their Georgia neighbourhood, one of their neighbours said.
On February 11, McMichael – who have since been arrested, along with his father, on charges of murdering Arbery – searched a construction site near Brunswick, Georgia, the neighbour, Diego Perez told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Perez, who lives near the site, received a text from the property owner, Larry English, who said a motion-sensor detected movement on the site.
Perez armed himself and walked toward the site, an unfinished house, and found 34-year-old Travis driving up in his truck, he said.
“Travis saw him in the yard and Travis stopped,” Perez told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday. “He confronted [the man] halfway into the yard. He said [the man] reached for his waistband, and Travis got spooked and went down the road.”
Perez said he recognised that man as Arbery.
Travis returned with his father, Gregory McMichael, who was also armed, Perez said. Gregory called the police, according to Perez, who recognised the man from older security-camera footage. At that point, Perez said, said he found no evidence of Arbery being around the construction site.
“All we knew about him was that he was the guy who kept showing up on our cameras,” Perez said. “No one knew who it was.”
Nothing was taken from the property, English told the AJC.
The McMichaels were on ‘a hunting party’
More than two months after Arbery was killed, Gregory and Travis McMichaels were charged with murder and aggravated assault. S. Lee Merritt, an attorney for Arbery’s family, called the killing a “lynching.”
On May 5, a graphic video of the McMichaels shooting Arbery was leaked, prompting local prosecutors to address the incident, a Department of Justice investigation, and protests around the country.
The video looked like “a hunting party,” Benjamin Crump, one of the Arbery family’s attorneys, told Insider after it became public. “We have every right to expect an arrest immediately based on the ocular proof presented in that video of his execution.”
“When we believe if this was any other citizen, especially a citizen of colour, they would have been arrested because you have an unarmed man in a jogging attack,” Crump said.
- Read more:
- Gregory McMichael, who is charged in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, worked for years in DA Jackie Johnson’s office without required gun training
- The shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery: A timeline of a case that’s gripping the nation
- The full story of how the Ahmaud Arbery ‘lynching’ became a national flashpoint for justice