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'Life or death situation,' Travis McMichael testifies he shot Ahmaud Arbery after 'he had my gun, he struck me'

The man who shot Ahmaud Arbery testified on Wednesday, telling his side of the story in court.

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Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
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The man who shot Ahmaud Arbery testified on Wednesday, telling his side of the story in court.

On Wednesday, Travis McMichael took the stand in a Georgia courtroom where he, alongside his father Gregory McMichael and neighbor William Bryan, are on trial for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery.

"I shot him," McMichael declared. He then detailed the events that led to him firing the shot that killed Arbery. "He had my gun, he struck me," McMichael said. "It was obvious that he was … attacking me, that if he [would] have [gotten] the shotgun from me, then it was a … life or death situation."

As NPR reports, at the time of the shooting Georgians were permitted by law to conduct citizens arrests, however since then the law has been replaced to limit the practice to certain situations.

McMichael claimed that he first spotted Arbery "lurking" on a construction site, and after being frightened when Arbery reached for something on his waist drove home and called 911.

Upon seeing Arbery running down their street at a later date, McMichael said he and his father grabbed their shotguns and went after him, joined by their neighbor, Bryan. He claims they were executing a citizens arrest.

During the trial, however, McMichael was grilled by prosecutor Linda Dunikoski, who got him to admit that he did not mention during direct examination that his intention was to "effectuate an arrest."

According to USA Today, McMichael says after moving to the neighborhood in 2018, he "grew concerned about car break-ins, ‘suspicious persons’ and the theft," adding that his own pistol was stolen at one point. Crime became a topic of discussion among neighbors, he added, and that resident soon took matters into their own hands via the installation of surveillance cameras.

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