President Donald Trump responded Friday morning to the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, calling the video that appears to show the confrontation “very disturbing” but saying he was confident that the local authorities would handle the case properly.
“I saw the tape and it’s very, very disturbing,” Trump said in an interview on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”
“I looked at the picture of that young man, he was in a tuxedo — in fact, you put it up — and I will say, that looks like a really good young guy.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced Thursday that it had arrested Gregory McMichael, 64, and his 34-year-old son, Travis McMichael, and charged them with aggravated assault and the murder of Arbery.
Arbery, 25, was jogging on Feb. 23 in Brunswick when the McMichaels confronted him with two firearms. During the encounter, Travis McMichael shot and killed Arbery, according to the GBI news release.
Gregory McMichael had previously told police that they pursued Arbery because they thought he was involved in the recent burglaries in the area and Arbery had attacked them, ABC News reported.
A 28-second video circulating the internet reportedly shows the confrontation and spurred anger across the country.
As The Associated Press reported in a summary of the footage, “The cellphone video, initially posted by a Brunswick radio station, shows a black man running at a jogging pace on the left side of a road. A truck is parked in the road ahead of him. One man is inside the pickup’s bed, and another is standing beside the open driver’s side door.
“The runner crosses the road to pass the pickup on the passenger side, then crosses back in front of the truck. A gunshot sounds, and the video shows the runner grappling with a man in the street over what appears to be a shotgun or rifle. A second shot can be heard, and the runner can be seen punching the man. A third shot is fired at point-blank range.
“The runner staggers a few feet and falls face down.”
Trump said that it was a “very disturbing situation” and his “heart goes out to the family and the parents and the friends.”
The president expressed his confidence in Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and the law enforcement officials to “do the right thing.”
“It’s a heartbreaking thing. That was very rough, rough stuff,” he said.
Kemp told reporters that the video was “absolutely horrific, and Georgians deserve answers,” NBC News reported.
In a Thursday statement, the GBI said that even though the agency is only days into its investigation, it will be conducted “thoroughly and expeditiously to ensure justice is served.”
“We know you want and deserve answers as quickly as possible, and we do too. So when we ask for patience knowing it’s been over two months since the incident, we do so to allow our team to complete the investigation,” the statement read.
“We know this is difficult and is not only affecting the Brunswick community, or Georgia, but the entire nation. We thank you for your understanding.”