President Trump reacted to the shooting death of unarmed black jogger Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia by saying his “heart goes out” to the 25-year-old’s parents and loved ones, adding that he had not yet seen the video of the killing that sparked a massive public outcry.
“My heart goes out to the parents and to the loved ones of the young gentleman. It’s a very sad thing,” the president told reporters in the Oval Office on Thursday. “But I will be given a full report this evening.”
Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, both armed, approached Arbery on Feb. 23 on a street in Brunswick, Georgia, before Travis fatally shot him, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
The two men — who told police they confronted Arbery because they believed he was a burglar — were charged with murder and aggravated assault Thursday.
The case sparked national attention when footage of the confrontation emerged this week.
Around the country, political figures, celebrities and other on social media expressed fury about the killing.
“What I saw on the video is disturbing and wrong and looks like a criminal act. It must be thoroughly investigated and I can’t imagine why it has taken this long to come to light,” Rep. Doug Collins (R-Georgia) said in a tweet Thursday.
Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp tweeted: “@GBI_GA Director Reynolds has offered resources & manpower to D.A. Durden to ensure a thorough, independent investigation into the death of #AhmaudArbery.”
He added: “Georgians deserve answers. State law enforcement stands ready to ensure justice is served.”
In a statement, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said: “Over the last few days, through video footage, we have collectively witnessed yet another murder of an unarmed black man fueled by racism.
“The cell phone footage of the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery would appear to present clear probable cause for first degree murder charges. Justice for Ahmaud requires a full investigation of this crime, beginning with the arrest of all assailants.”
Stacey Abrams, a former Georgia state lawmaker and potential Joe Biden running mate, hailed the arrests as an “important first step, but the first of many.”
“We must not look away,” she said in a tweet.
Before the suspects were arrested, actress Zoe Kravitz said in an Instagram post that Arbery “was murdered by two white men, ON CAMERA, and dudes have not been arrested. come on, people.”
It was shared by such celebrities as Billie Eilish and Kylie Jenner.
With Post wires