William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., the man who recorded the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in a neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia, has been arrested on suspicion of murder, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Thursday.
Bryan witnessed the deadly encounter between Travis McMichael and Arbery on February 23 from a vehicle behind a pickup that stopped in the road. Gregory McMichael, who was in the bed of the pickup during the shooting, told police that Bryan had tried to help them stop Arbery earlier, according to an incident report.
Kevin Gough, an attorney for Bryan, said Monday that Bryan had taken a polygraph test that confirmed he was not involved in the shooting.
Bryan was unarmed at the time of shooting and that Bryan did not have any conversation with Gregory or Travis McMichael before the shooting, Gough said, citing test results.
Bryan took the test voluntarily, said Gough, who referred to his client as the state’s “star witness.”
The GBI, which is conducting the investigation into Arbery’s death, said Bryan, 50, was arrested Thursday and will face charges of felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
Bryan will be booked into the Glynn County Jail, where the McMichaels are being held on charges of murder and aggravated assault.
The father and son’s legal teams have said the full details of the case haven’t made it into the public arena, and they’ve promised the truth will exonerate their clients.
CNN attempted to reach Gough on Thursday evening.
The video Bryan recorded on his cellphone shows Arbery trying to run around the McMichaels’ truck before turning sharply toward Travis McMichael and tussling over his gun. Arbery was shot three times and collapsed in the street.
The 36-second video was not released until more than 10 weeks after the killing and spurred calls for the McMichaels’ arrests. It does not show what led up to the final moments of Arbery’s life.
Gregory McMichael — a former prosecutorial investigator, ex-Glynn County police officer and Travis’ father — told police that he and his son chased Arbery after seeing him at a neighbor’s under-construction home. They suspected him in a rash of break-ins, according to an incident report.
McMichael told police his son had tried to cut off Arbery with his truck but Arbery turned around.
“McMichael stated the unidentified male turned around and began running back the direction from which he came and ‘Roddy’ attempted to block him in which was unsuccessful,” the police report says.
Gough said that Bryan was a witness and not a vigilante. He told CNN last week that Bryan was working in his yard when he saw a person he did not know being chased by a vehicle he recognized from the neighborhood.
The attorneys representing members of the Arbery family said they were relieved.
“We called for his arrest from the very beginning of this process,” the family’s attorneys S. Lee Merritt, Benjamin Crump, and L. Chris Stewart, said.
“His involvement in the murder of Mr. Arbery was obvious to us, to many around the country and after their thorough investigation, it was clear to the GBI as well.”
They thanked the GBI for its diligence.