BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Three white men were found guilty of murder Wednesday in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man whose killing last year helped fuel a national debate on racial profiling and vigilantism.
Gregory McMichael, 65, his son, Travis McMichael, 35, and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., 52, chased down Arbery in their pickup trucks as he ran through their Satilla Shores subdivision near the coastal port city of Brunswick before the younger McMichael shot him dead.
The men later said they were attempting to make a citizen’s arrest and that Travis McMichael was acting in self-defense, because he fired only after Arbery, in his final moments, had lunged for him and his gun.
The murder convictions carry a sentence of life in prison.
Theawanza Brooks, one of Arbery’s aunts, sobbed and rocked back and forth in a wooden pew as the verdicts for Travis McMichael were read.
As Gregory McMichael was found guilty of felony murder, she pulled off her sweater to reveal an orange T-shirt and pants with a message emblazoned on the chest: “Justice Served!!!”
Then, with Bryan’s conviction on felony murder, she raised her fist to the air.
“We did it,” she said. “We’re an example for the world to show you don’t have to riot and tear things up in order to get a good ending.”
Outside the courthouse, a man shouted, “Say his name!”
“Ahmaud Arbery!” the crowd of about 150 people chanted.