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'He said ... it was almost like the Black guy was tired of running' | First officer to respond testifies in death of Ahmaud Arbery trial

Former Glynn County Police Officer Ricky Minshew was on the stand for most of the day Monday.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Witness testimony continued Monday in the murder trial in the death of Ahmaud Arbery. 

The state called its second, third and fourth witnesses. The second, Investigator Sheila Ramos with the Glynn County Police Department, described graphic pictures she took the day of the shooting to the courtroom.

Arbery's father, Marcus Arbery Sr., left the courtroom in anticipation of the pictures. He later said he didn't want to be "retraumatized" by looking at the images.  

Ramos testified that she didn't know anything about Travis McMichael'ls truck that day. Therefore, she didn't take pictures of the truck. The pictures she did take included a mix of closeups, long and medium-range photos showing the location of the shotgun, shotgun shells and bloodstained pavement. She also took pictures of Arbery's injuries, including his gaping gunshot wounds.

Arbery's aunt, Thea Brooks, said her and her family hadn't seen some of the pictures.

"It was really emotional," Brooks said. "We found ourselves shedding tears, holding back the outcry. As I stated, these are images that are new to us. We never saw those images before, and so it’s very very heartbreaking to see your loved one laying on the ground lifeless and no one there to help."

As Ramos identified closeup pictures of the gunshot wounds, Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, audibly exhaled. Jurors were seen squirming in their seats. 

Ramos also described photos of a nearby home that's window was hit by a projectile. It stopped at the living room wall. According to the pool reporter in the courtroom, Cooper-Jones quietly said "wow" hearing this news. 

Ramos testified during cross-examination that when she got to the scene, she noticed Travis McMichael was in a "distraught state."

Most of the day, the first officer to respond the day Arbery was killed, former Glynn County Police Officer Ricky Minshew, was on the stand. Minshew said he was responding to a call for a suspicious person in Satilla Shores. A neighbor saw Arbery and called the nonemergency number to report "a suspicious Black male" in the neighborhood. 

As he was driving into the neighborhood, Minshew said he heard "two loud pop sounds a couple of seconds apart." He said he knew it was either gunshots or fireworks, and judging by the time of day, around 1:15 p.m., he thought it was gunshots. 

Minshew testified that the McMichaels flagged him down.

“I got out of my car to see what was going on and I saw two males there in front of me and I observed a Black male laying in the middle of the roadway covered in blood," Minshew said. "He appeared to be unresponsive to his surroundings. He appeared to be deceased. I heard like an agonal breathing. I’ve always heard it called a death rattle," Minshew said, describing the noise he heard coming from Arbery.

When prosecutors asked why Minshew didn't give Arbery CPR, he said he was the only officer there, he didn't know the circumstances about what had occurred and he didn't have anyone to watch his back while he gave medical attention to Arbery. He also said he didn't have the proper medical equipment in his patrol car, but did call for EMTs to respond to the scene. 

The second officer to respond testified Friday he tried to render aid to Arbery, but he was already dead when he got there. 

“I understood he had to go and secure the crime scene, but at the same time, he had a guy laying in the middle of the road in a puddle of blood," Cooper-Jones said. "I couldn’t really understand why he didn’t render aid at that time. I hadn’t really put it all together about what he was thinking. It really don’t make a lot of sense at this time," Cooper-Jones said about Minshew's testimony.

During Minshew's testimony, Cooper-Jones was overheard in court saying, "he didn't even go over to help." 

Minshew also testified that the shotgun had a "significant" amount of blood on it, and was off to the side in a yard. He said the McMichaels were pacing in the road when he got there. 

The defense played Minshew's body camera video that shows Gregory McMichael putting his arm around Travis McMichael after the shooting. Defense attorneys argued the video shows Travis McMichael is disturbed and upset after the shooting.

"Do you see Mr. McMichael try to console his son," defense attorney Jason Sheffield asked Minshew.

"I see his hand on his shoulder," Minshew responded.

"And he said he had no choice. Did you hear him say that," Sheffield asks.

"I heard him say that," Minshew responded. 

Cooper-Jones was heard gasping in the courtroom after the video where Gregory McMichael said "he had no choice" was played.

Minshew also testified that William Roddie Bryan told him at the scene he didn't recognize Arbery or the McMichaels as they ran and drove by his house. He told Minshew, Minshew said, that he yelled, "y'all got him?" Bryan then hopped in his truck and began to chase Arbery.

Minshew testified that Bryan told Minshew at the scene five times that he tried to block and corner Arbery during the chase. When asked by prosecutors whether Bryan ever told him he was trying to make a citizen's arrest, Minshew responded, "No, ma'am." Defense attorneys have claimed citizen's arrest as a key argument. 

"Should I have been chasing him, I don't know," Bryan also told Minshew. 

Bryan also told Minshew he thought Arbery was trying to get into his truck. He also said he noticed Arbery was tired, telling Minshew, "when I rounded the corner out there, it was almost like the Black guy was tired of running."

Video of the shooting was also played a few times Monday. Brooks said hearing what sounds like rustling around in Bryan's truck as he films prior to the shooting makes her feel like her nephew was hunted.

"If you’re in the woods and you see a deer and you’re on your stand and you’re trying to get your gun together, you’re trying to sit up and get your proportion right so you’ll be able to see what your target is, and that’s exactly what all the rustling sounded like to me," she said. 

She also said she heard the engine revving up in the video.

Glynn County Police Officer Adam Jackson was the last witness to take the stand Monday. Several jurors wrote down notes as he said he wasn't called to burglaries in the area of Satilla Shores. 

At several points Monday and in the past week, the judge has had to send the jury out of the courtroom while resolving arguments between the attorneys. During one such time Monday, when they were arguing over the admission of statements made by Gregory McMichael, Cooper-Jones was overheard saying something about the defense attorneys wasting time.

When asked about it after court, Cooper-Jones said she's worried the attorneys bickering is delaying justice for her son.

"It's a major concern because they’ve been going through these motions for months and here it is in the middle of trial, and they’re coming in with these motions that are just wasting time. They had time enough to prepare for this trial and now that we’re in the midst of this trial. I don’t see it making any sense at all," Cooper-Jones said.

The state will call more witnesses starting at nine a.m. Tuesday.

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