The man who filmed Ahmaud Arbery’s shooting has been arrested on charges including murder, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Thursday.
William ‘Roddie’ Bryan Jr., 50, was arrested on charges of felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment, officials announced.
Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, were charged this month with murder and aggravated assault for the shooting death of unarmed Arbery, 25, in Brunswick, Georgia, on February 23.
Bryan, a neighbor of the McMichaels, watched and shot the footage of the attack. It was his cellphone footage that exposed the brutal killing of the jogger. He will be booked into the Glynn County Jail.
Ben Crump, an attorney for the victim’s family, had already called for Bryan’s arrest for aiding and abetting the McMichaels in Arbery’s murder.
‘This is William ‘Roddie’ Bryan – who we believe may have been the third person in pursuit of #AhmaudArbery. If he chased down Ahmaud and filmed his execution, he should be arrested and charged with aiding and abetting them in committing this crime of murder. #RunWithMaud,’ Crump wrote in a Twitter.
Pictured: William ‘Roddie’ Bryan, a neighbor of the father and son who killed Ahmaud Arbery, who filmed the shooting in Satilla Shores, Georgia
Ahmaud Arbery, pictured, was killed February 23; a white father and son told police they pursued him in their truck because they suspected him of being a burglar
Bryan lives just a few houses away from the McMichaels, close to where the killing took place. He has said he was only a ‘witness’ and not an accomplice in the shooting.
The killers evaded prosecution for more than two months, after the father and son team initially claimed they thought Arbery was a burglar after a spate of thefts in the area, and that he attacked them when they tried to make a citizen’s arrest.
But shocking cellphone footage – taken by Bryan – was leaked months later, showing the two men chasing and gunning down the victim in the street.
The lawyer for Arbery’s family said the 25-year-old was chased for four minutes before being gunned down.
Gregory (left) and Travis McMichael (right) have both been charged with murder and aggravated assault over the February 23 shooting of Ahmaud Arbery
The harrowing video showed the men ‘ambushing’ Arbery as he tried to run past their pickup truck.
The leak of the video sparked outrage across the nation with LeBron James, Justin Bieber and Kendall Jenner all leading cries for the McMichaels to be charged with murder.
Arbery’s mother, in an interview with Dr. Phil, hit out at Bryan.
Wanda Cooper Cooper said she wants ‘all hands’ involved ‘to be prosecuted to the highest’, telling Dr Phil she ‘strongly believes’ Bryan was involved.
Harrowing video showed the men ‘ambushing’ Arbery as he tried to run past their pickup truck
Bryan’s attorney Kevin Gough has previously denied claims his client was armed at the time of the killing and insisted he is ‘not a vigilante’.
Bryan claimed there had been a ‘number of crimes in the neighborhood in recent weeks – despite cops saying there were no burglaries reported in the two months leading up to the young man’s death.
Gough also said the shooting simply ‘start[ed] happening in front of him’ and Bryan had handed over the footage to police ‘immediately’ after the incident.
He told Weekend TODAY Bryan had arrived at the scene after he saw Arbery running through the neighborhood and being pursued by the McMichaels in their truck.
‘He was in his yard and this just starts happening in front of him,’ said Gough. ‘He gets in his car and is trying to document that.’
Exclusive photos show the moment Gregory McMichael (pictured) and his son Travis McMichael were arrested at their home in Brunswick, Georgia, on Thursday
An officer with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is seen leading 34-year-old Travis McMichael out of the home in handcuffs
When asked why Bryan followed and filmed the attack, his attorney said ‘he was trying to get [Arbery’s] picture… because there had been a number of crimes in this neighborhood and he didn’t recognize him and a vehicle that he did recognize was following him.’
‘From day one Mr Bryan has fully cooperated with law enforcement officers investigating this matter,’ he said in the First Coast News footage.
Gough said Bryan handed the cellphone footage to police as soon as officers arrived on the scene.
Bryan ‘disclosed the existence of the videotape and invited a responding Glynn County police officer to sit with him in his truck where they watched the video together,’ Gough said.
‘Mr Bryan went home and came back out to the crime scene shortly after at the request of law enforcement to further assist them and then later Mr Bryan voluntarily went to the Glynn County Police Department where he answered all the questions they had for him without a lawyer during a lengthy interview.’
Ahmaud Arbery and his mother Wanda Cooper Jones. Bryan may also face arrest for his part in the shooting after he watched and shot the footage of the attack, authorities said Friday
Gough branded reports that Bryan had a firearm with him when he arrived on the scene ‘irresponsible’ and insisted he was ‘unarmed’.
He said the ‘family man’ ‘does not understand’ why he is being investigated over the shooting.
‘Despite his cooperation and for reasons he does not understand Mr Bryan has learned the family and apparently their lawyers are demanding he be arrested,’ said Gough.
‘He is not and never has been a vigilante.’
The attorney who leaked the footage shot by Bryan to the press said he did it because he believed it would clear the McMichaels of any crime.
Attorney Alan Tucker told Inside Edition that he was a close friend of the two men charged with Arbery’s murder. ‘I really thought releasing the video would put the truth out to the public,’ Tucker stated.
‘If he [Arbery] had just froze and hadn’t done anything, then he wouldn’t have been shot.’
Arbery is pictured right with his mom Wanda Jones, The lawyer for Ahmaud Arbery’s family said the 25-year-old was chased for four minutes before being gunned down
However after the video was uploaded to the internet it quickly went viral and sparked nationwide outrage.
Gregory McMichael retired last year after more than two decades as an investigator for the local prosecutor’s office. Because of those ties, Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson recused herself from the case.
Two outside prosecutors assigned the case have also stepped aside.
The McMichaels weren’t arrested until May 7, after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the shooting investigation from Glynn County police.
Soon after the GBI’s involvement was announced, a Brunswick attorney with access to the shooting video released it to a local radio station — and copies soon proliferated online.
The McMichaels remain jailed in Glynn County waiting for a preliminary court hearing and for a judge to decide whether to free them on bond pending trial. Attorneys for the father and son have urged people not to rush to judgment in the case.