A co-defendant at the scene of Ahmaud Arbery’s death says the man charged with firing the fatal gunshot uttered a racial epithet after shooting Arbery, numerous sources reported.
Travis McMichael, 34, said “expletive N-word” after the fatal shots, William “Roddie” Bryan, 50, told police, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Bryan recorded the fatal confrontation between Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael, 64, and Arbery, 25. Bryan was charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. Bryan is the McMichael’s neighbor.
The father and son were charged with felony murder and aggravated assault. (RELATED: Man Who Recorded Video Of Ahmaud Arbery Slaying Charged With Murder)
The admission was made at a preliminary hearing Thursday morning for the defendants, according to NBC News.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vic Reynolds said that investigators believe false imprisonment, which Bryan was charged with, “helped cause the death of Ahmaud Arbery,” NBC News reported. Bryan had used his vehicle to “attempt to confine and detain Ahmaud Arbery without legal authority,” a state criminal warrant said according to NBC News.
NEW from GBI agent: Mr. Bryan said that after the shooting took place while Mr. Arbery was on the ground, prior to police arriving, Travis McMichael made the statement: “f***ng n**ger” pic.twitter.com/RWj1MOhPCe
— Hayley Mason (@HayleyMasonTV) June 4, 2020
The Justice Department has also considered whether to pursue federal hate crime charges in the case, and the racial epithet will almost certainly factor in the decision, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.