Arbery, 25, is jogging in a neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia, on February 23 when he was chased by a former policeman and his armed son, authorities said. Arbery was shot after fighting with his son on his rifle, according to the Glynn County Police Department report. The former officer then told officers that he thought Arbery looked like a suspect in a series of burglaries nearby, the report said.
Jason Vaughn is Arbery’s high school football coach. Now, he asks supporters to respect Arbery by running 2.23 miles, representing the date of his death on Friday, which will be his birthday. He asked runners to document their escape and post it to social media under the hashtag #IRunWithMaud.
The last time Vaughn saw Arbery was when they passed the path while running. Vaughn said that he wanted to chase Arbery and joke with him, but Arbery pushed himself hard and he couldn’t reach him.
“I will go on like he would the last time I saw him,” Vaughn said.
‘We will do justice’
Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper, told CNN on Sunday that she was never worried about her son going jogging because he said he didn’t bother anyone.
On February 23, Gregory McMichael and his son Travis chased Arbery, McMichael told police. Travis and Arbery battled Travis’s rifle, and two shots were fired before Arbery fell to the road, according to the Glynn County Police Department report.
McMichael later told officers that although Arbery looked like someone suspected in a recent series of burglaries, the report said.
CNN’s attempt to reach McMichaels was unsuccessful.
Regional Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tom Durden formally requested Tuesday night that the Georgia Investigation Bureau investigate Arbery’s death.
“Our aim in every investigation is to find out the truth, and that is precisely what we want to do in this matter,” GBI Director Vic Reynolds said in a video statement Wednesday. “This investigation must be carried out properly, and therefore I must ask for a little of your patience. I am sure we will do justice in this matter.”
While the authorities are investigating, public figures cite the injustice they see in this case.
“We’re really being hunted EVERYDAY / EVERYDAY we walk outside the comfort of our home!” James tweeted. “I’m sorry Ahmaud (Rest in Paradise) and my prayers and blessings sent to ….. heaven above for your family !!”
Speaking to MSNBC Wednesday, Georgian politician Stacey Abrams said that he supported an immediate investigation.
“It looks like vigilantism must be indicted and criminalized. And it seems that the Arbery’s family has experienced a painful hand of injustice,” Abrams said.
Durden wrote in a news release obtained by CNN on Tuesday that he hoped to submit the case to the next available grand jury in Glynn County to consider whether the indictment was appropriate for those involved in Arbery’s death.
Angela Barajas, Amir Vera, and Steve Almasy from CNN contributed to this report.