An anonymous letter found at the makeshift memorial of Ahmaud Arbery, a Brunswick, Georgia jogger who was gunned down during a confrontation with a father and son, is said to have no connection to the case per authorities. The unsigned, handwritten letter was found May 13, was written simply: "Ahmaud – I am so sorry. I should have stopped them. I am sorry." The letter initially raised questions among authorities about the author's identity.
The note, which was photographed by CBS affiliate WJXT was shared to social media by the network's reporters, According to Fox News at the time, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation declined to comment on whether the agency is currently locating the individual who penned it. While Arbery's family and their attorneys believed the letters could provide some insight into the shooting, the GBI told ABC News in a statement that the note was "misleading" as they identified the individual and did not come to a helpful conclusion.
Wow - an unsigned note left on the street corner where #AhmaudArbery was shot and killed.
The note read “Ahmaud, I am so sorry. I should have stopped them. I am so sorry.”May 13, 2020
"The individual is not connected to the Ahmaud Arbery murder investigation in any way," the agency said in a statement, adding how no arrests will be made either. "This person was expressing their condolences for Arbery's death. We've received numerous tips and inquiries related to this and wanted to be sure to update the public. This investigation remains active and ongoing."
The Arbery family attorney, S. Lee Merritt addressed the note in a tweet of his own, initially urging action in finding out the identity of the individual in a tweet. He further tells ABC News that after the GBI "dismissed" the letter, there was more information shared with the authorities with an "anonymous tip purported to be someone familiar with the person who wrote the note" and known to the shooters, Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael. "That person has credible evidence that can authenticate the letter," said Merritt. "The note is inconsistent of a well wisher, because it says they are sorry they should have stopped them." He further adds that his original statement stands into an official inquiry.
Arbery, a black man and former high school football star living with his mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, was shot dead while jogging in the suburban neighborhood of Satilla Shores in Brunswick, Georgia on Feb. 23 where he was confronted by a white man and his son, per a Glynn County Police Department Incident Report. Investigators state the shooters McMichael and his son Travis used a .357 Magnum handgun and shotgun in their attack. They have since been arrested on May 7 for murder and aggravated assault, telling authorities that they believed Arbery looked like a suspect in several break-ins in their area. A third man was also involved in the terrorizing pursuit, according to police reports and documents.
While Georgia is currently under a statewide Judicial Emergency until June 12, the case is planned to go before a grand jury. It is unclear if the McMichaels' legal team will request a change of venue, which will ultimately be decided by a judge.