MARIETTA, GA — A third arrest has been made in the Ahmaud Arbery case, which a Cobb County district attorney took over May 11. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced Thursday that the man who recorded cellphone video of Arbery being shot and killed has been arrested.
William “Roddie” Bryan, 50, faces charges of felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. These charges stem from the Feb. 23 incident that resulted in the death of 25-year-old Arbery. Bryan will be booked into the Glynn County Jail.
Bryan’s lawyer, Kevin Gough, told “TODAY” earlier this month that Bryan had fully cooperated with investigators and that he was just a witness to the fatal shooting. Bryan saw Arbery running from a pickup truck that was following him, Gough said. He followed them because he wanted a photo, he said.
This case is being investigated in partnership with District Attorney Joyette Holmes of the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office.
Arbery was chased down and fatally shot while jogging through his Satilla Shores neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia on Feb. 23. Retired police detective Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, were arrested May 7 by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, two days after the agency took over the case from local authorities.
Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, has said she believes that local authorities attempted to cover up Arbery’s death.
“The murder happened before the social distancing came into effect,” Cooper-Jones said. “I think what took so long was my son’s death was going to be covered up. I don’t think that the virus had a big part in it at all.”
After Arbery’s death, it took 74 days before the McMichaels were arrested and charged in connection to the murder. The fatal shooting was captured in a viral video. The arrest happened a day later and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case.
The family’s attorney, Lee Merritt, is handling the case for Cooper-Jones and believes the man who shot that video, William “Roddie” Bryan, played a role in the killing.
“Right now, we know that he recorded this video from a very close proximity,” Merritt said. “According to his attorney, he was home one minute and within minutes he was behind Ahmaud Arbery with his cell phone, recording his ambush. His response to this very loud, violent shotgun shots repeatedly, and someone being murdered in front of him, was silence. He just kept recording. You didn’t hear him gasp. He didn’t cut off the camera. He didn’t intervene. He didn’t honk his horn. And we believe that is because he knew what was about to happen and he played a role in it.”
The family also hopes that the federal government moves forward with hate crime charges against the McMichaels.