A Police Officer Describes the Scene of Ahmaud Arbery’s Death

When William Duggan, a Glynn County police officer, arrived on the scene of the shooting, what he observed was gruesome.

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‘There was blood all over’: A police officer describes the scene of Ahmaud Arbery’s death.

A memorial for Ahmaud Arbery at the entrance of the Stailla Shores neighborood where he was killed.Credit…Dustin Chambers for The New York Times

Nov. 5, 2021Updated 5:27 p.m. ET

When William Duggan, a Glynn County police officer, arrived on the scene of Ahmaud Arbery’s shooting, what he observed was gruesome.

Officer Duggan said that he saw Mr. Arbery lying on the ground with people milling about. Seated on the ground nearby was Travis McMichael, one of the three men accused of murder in his death.

“I could see he was covered in blood,” Mr. Duggan said. “There was blood all over, and I remember at some point asking if he was OK.”

Mr. McMichael replied, “No I’m not OK,” Mr. Duggan testified. “I just effing killed somebody.'”

Mr. Duggan was the first witness called by the prosecution on Friday, the opening day of the trial.

The prosecution played a video of Officer Duggan’s body camera footage from the moment he arrived on the scene of the shooting. The defense had tried to keep the video out of the trial, but Judge Timothy R. Walmsley ruled that it could be admitted as evidence.

Before the video was played in court, Judge Walmsley warned that the images could provoke reaction, and some of Mr. Arbery’s relatives stepped out of the courtroom.

The video showed Mr. Arbery bleeding out on the street, his white T-shirt drenched in his own blood.

When other officers arrive at the scene, Officer Duggan told them that he turned Mr. Arbery’s body over and that he had taken his last breath moments earlier.

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