I think you are partially right about question 1, but I do think I was hinting at a legally relevant question even though I didn't express it well. A better wording would be something like "Did the actors have a legal right to arrest Arbery, and perform all of their subsequent actions including the chase and brandishing of weapons". I'm not really sure how to word it cleanly. That said, it is essentially an offshoot of question two in that the legality of the shooters actions plays into the question of whether Arbery was justified in acting in self defense.
Similarly, I also believe the second question is relevant in what it says about the third question. It is all a bit of a nesting egg situation, where the final question is the fundamental one, but the preceding two help to answer it. And the second question is important, because if the victim is legally justified in using self defense, it essentially brands the shooter as the aggressor. If the victim is not legally allowed to act in self-defense, this bolsters the shooters claim to self-defense. If the shooter is considered the aggressor, he has additional responsibilities before he is able to act in self defense himself.
To restate the questions at hand:
Sub Questions (to aid in the determination of the primary question):
And I also want to bring in some Georgian criminal statutes:
(a) A person commits the offense of simple assault when he or she either:
(2) Commits an act which places another in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury.
(a) A person commits the offense of aggravated assault when he or she assaults:
(2) With a deadly weapon or with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury.
(b) A person is not justified in using force under the circumstances specified in subsection (a) of this Code section if he:
(2) Is attempting to commit, committing, or fleeing after the commission or attempted commission of a felony; or
(3) Was the aggressor or was engaged in a combat by agreement unless he withdraws from the encounter and effectively communicates to such other person his intent to do so and the other, notwithstanding, continues or threatens to continue the use of unlawful force.
I believe that the shooter would have been guilty of Aggravated Assault in this instance (before the shooting), by "committing an act which places another in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury", "with a deadly weapon or with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury. As such, he is unable to claim self defense, both because he was in the commission of a felony (aggravated assault is a felony), and because his actions placed him in the role of the aggressor and he was not able to withdraw before lethal force was utilized.
The problem with what you're saying is that self-defense does not mean you're responding to an actual threat. Self-defense only deals with what was going on in the defendant's head. Someone can be justified in self-defense even if the other party is not the aggressor.
For instance let's say a man has a girlfriend. The man has a daughter in college, who the girlfriend does not know about. The man also hasn't yet told his daughter about his girlfriend. His wife passed a year ago, and he wasn't sure how his daughter would react to him dating again.
The father's birthday is this weekend. Daughter comes home on Friday night to surprise her father but he's not home. She texts him, but as it so happens, his friends took him out on a hunting trip to celebrate the big day. He texts his daughter telling her this and that he won't be back until Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, the girlfriend bought the father who is a gun collector a shotgun for his birthday. The gun is unloaded. At midnight, the girlfriend enters the home with the shotgun in hand through the back door which she knows is usually unlocked. She intends to leave the shotgun on the father's bed and begins walking up the stairs.
The daughter hears foot steps. As she knows her father is not going to be home she is scared. She picks up a baseball bat she has in her room an opens her door. As soon as she does she sees the girlfriend with the shotgun in hand. Panicking, she swings the bat at the girlfriend's head. The girlfriend drops the gun and says "ouch what the fuck". Then she explains the situation, and the two have a laugh about it.
Everything worked out. YAY! But, suppose the girlfriend was angry about it, and wanted to press charges. She almost certainly couldn't. Even though the girlfriend was not the aggressor, and as far as we can tell did nothing wrong, the daughter still had a right to act in self-defense as considering the situation, her belief that she was in danger was reasonable. Point being, one party being entitled to use self-defense does not mean the other party is necessarily the aggressor. Not saying this is the same kind of situation, but the question we need to ask is whether the killer was the aggressor, and whether arbery had the right to use self defense really doesn't answer that.