According to TMZ, a card was left at the makeshift memorial for Ahmaud on the exact street where he was killed in February. The local news station, News4JAX, took the photo of the card and what it says.
“Ahmaud, I am so sorry. I should have stopped them,” reads the note. “I am so sorry.” The card was not signed by a name and no more information or context was provided, including when the card was left there.
Ahmaud was killed on foot in Bruswick, Georgia after two armed men, Gregory and Travis McMichael, followed him in their truck, believing he was a neighborhood burglar. A video of the incident, recorded by William “Roddie” Bryan, went viral and it shows Arbery struggling with Travis over his shotgun, while his father Gregory appears to stand in the trunk of the truck nearby. Three shots go off in the video before Arbery falls to the ground with fatal wounds. An autopsy revealed that Arbery was shot two times in the chest and a bullet also grazed his wrist.
Although the meaning of the note remains ambiguous, it could insinuate that someone witnessed the shooting or, at least, saw the pursuit and failed to intercede.
According to DailyMail.com interviews with residents, certain neighbors thought the McMichael’s shouldn’t have never pursued Ahmaud.
Residents said their had been thefts in Satilla Shores during that time, including rifles and pistols stolen from people’s vehicles. Although cops only recorded one burglary in the area since January, the neighbors said they weren’t reporting the thefts to the cops for insurance reasons.
“There have been a lot of thefts, mainly from cars so they have gone unreported because people don’t want to hurt their insurance premiums,” one neighbor told DailyMail.com.
However, this same neighbor also said nobody asked the McMichael’s to play law enforcement. “If they appointed themselves the neighborhood watchmen, they did so themselves,” the neighbor said. “Nobody around here asked for this firestorm.”
A man who was caught on surveillance footage roaming a house under construction has been linked to Arbery. However, even the owner of the house communicated that he didn’t expect the McMichael’s to pursue Arbery if that was, in fact, him in the surveillance footage.
“The English family had no relationship with the McMichaels and did not even know what had occurred until after Mr. Arbery’s death was reported to them,” said the attorney of Larry English Jr., the owner of the under construction property. “Mr. English would never have sought a vigilante response, much less one resulting in a tragic death.”
Such accounts bring to question how responsible the residents were in holding the McMichael’s accountable, especially considering Ahmaud was killed in a mostly white neighborhood.
An unidentified man called the police about the man believed to be Arbery roaming the developing house. Not too long afterwards, Ahmaud was killed. When asked if the McMichael’s were right to chase down Arbery, the unidentified caller said, “I don’t know enough, I can’t say.”