March 14th, 2012
02:16 AM ET

Fatal shooting of Florida teen turned over to state attorney

A case involving the fatal shooting of an unarmed Florida teen, which has sparked outrage and calls for justice, is in the hands of the state attorney's office.

Police say Trayvon Martin, 17, was returning from the convenience store to his father's home in Sanford, Florida.

A neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, 28, saw the teen and called 911 to report a suspicious man, authorities said.

The 911 dispatcher told Zimmerman not to confront Martin, but by the time police arrived, the teenager lay dead with a gunshot wound in the chest, said Bill Lee, the Sanford police chief. He was carrying a small amount of cash, some candy and an iced tea.

Zimmerman told police he shot Martin in self defense, authorities said.

"When you add it up, it just doesn't even make sense," said Ben Crump, the Martin family's attorney. "Trayvon Martin, a kid, has a bag of Skittles. (Zimmerman) had a 9 mm gun. Trayvon Martin didn't approach George Zimmerman, George Zimmerman approached Trayvon Martin. So how can he now assert self defense?"

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soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. AMERICA 1st

    Sounds like the boy was murdered in cold blood!

    March 14, 2012 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      It not only makes me sick to my stomach but, teary eyed to think of what that child went through mentally when approached by that man. I have a 140 lb son and I constantly caution him about strangers. I couldn't imagine him or Martin trying to overpower a 240 lb man. This kid was in defense mode and knew he was being faced by a monster. He did all he could in an attempt to save his life. His parents should be proud of the fight he put up.

      I'm sickened and disgusted by Bill Lee Chief of police who said there is nothing to prove this was not self defense. He has kids how can he sleep with himself at night knowing he had an obligation to do what was right in this case didn't and only offers his apologies to the family. He and all of the others who handled this investigation should resign. His rant the media how this is as travesty to the community and his support of the Neighborhood Watch Program is disrespectful to a grieving family.

      Zimmerman is a hearted killer who deserves jail time. I hope this man is brought to justice so Trayvon Martin's family can get an inkling of peace, because nothing I mean nothing can bring back this child to his mother!

      March 14, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnny Orlando

      Now that the facts are starting to come in, he was engaged in manual combat. The thug had a history of violence against police and he probably tried to fight the guy with a gun. That was a stupid mistake. There were grass stains on the back of the shooter, meaning he was on the ground in a vulnerable position when he shot.

      March 15, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ♔Mmmmm♕

    why is george zimmerman, a racist murderer hiding behind a neighborhood badge still walking the streets? where is the justice...will you let zimmerman live a full life until his racist ass is primed for the coffin before you place him in jail? why would you frustrate the civility of the victim's family and friends and the community your inaction condones an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth...maybe the immunity to harm can be broken when the neighborhood civic association and its employers, every homeowners of that neighbor, are held liable for injury and death of a 17 year old citizen engaging his liberties to purchase candy and ice tea...

    March 14, 2012 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I agree.
      What was Zimmerman afraid of, that he was going to get Skittled and sweet tea'd to death?
      This whole story does not pass the smell test.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. David

    Chief of Sanford PD has gone out of his way to protect the murderer george michale zimmerman.

    March 14, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. OBL

    Wow!! and he`s still free walking around

    March 14, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  5. BOMBO ©

    Neighborhood watch captains carry guns??

    March 14, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Not normally! But this bully Zimmerman has a permit to carry a concealed weapon
      and applied it in his capacity as a Neighborhood Watch Captain.
      Hey, you're supposed to WATCH, not SHOOT! A gross misunderstanding on his part.
      (I'm wondering how the heck he got that permit.)

      March 14, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Greek American

    Another white radical Tea Bagger hick, carrying his gun around the neighborhood because he has been brainwashed by the Right into thinking that nobody is safe. What a loser! Nice neighborhood watch captain. I hope they give him the electric chair.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  7. Greek American

    @BOMBO

    I can't believe the gun thing either. I know some city police departments around where I live have lowered themselves to placing signs on peoples lawns informing them of "neighborhood meetings" where people can go and volunteer to "help keep the neighborhood safer." I think it opens up the chances of something tragic like this happening though, unfortunately.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Unfortunately, the people who like to own guns tend to be the kind of people you would not want to own guns.

      March 14, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. chrissy

    Disgusting they havent locked this loon up, its just forcing citizens to take matters into their own hands, which btw, is what created this mess in the first place! If the police cant or wont do their job, replace em!

    March 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. OBL

    Oppurtunity kill is what that was and everbody knows it

    March 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rick

    Zimmerman demanded that Martin get in his car. Would you as a parent consider allowing a total stranger to take your teenager for a ride in his car simply because he says he's a cop?

    For all he knew Zimmerman was a serial killer or a rapist. Martin was wise to run away, but Zimmerman went on a foot chase and attacked the boy and killed him.

    March 14, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. gary.noyb

    This isn't the castle doctrine ..... That only applies in the HOME. This is the "Stand Your Ground" law which states EXACTLY "Deadly force is OK outside your home if an aggressor makes you feel that your life is in danger" ... Make sure you don't get confused...

    Zimmerman in this case is the AGGRESSOR... HE went out and confronted someone. He was the one to initiate this whole thing.. Again, racial? Look at what HE said and HIS actions. Why this guy is not in jail is ridiculous....

    March 14, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kalashnikova

    The police department is even worse than the murderer–they're saying they don't have PROBABLE CAUSE FOR AN ARREST?

    The slob admitted to killing an unarmed kid. Even in a case of genuine self-defense, they'd have procedures to follow. This smells rotten. Who wants to bet that gun-happy George has friends in high places?

    March 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. donimus

    I saw this story just now on AC360. First off some facts: this was a gated condo community – meaning exclusivity. Now you have a Black kid walking thru this gated community back to where his relatives lived, its raining, he has his hood on, he's walking slow. G. I. Joe sees him years of looking at tv – reading news reports tell him, what l've learned and always see on tv and read about is now walking towards me – a potential threat. I gurantee you this was his mind set at that time when he saw this kid.

    the other part of this and why l called him G. I. Joe – l've owned 3 condos here in L.A. all 3 were nice but the rules in place were draconian at these places. They brought this up in the piece on CNN about how G. I. Joe would enforce people parking in the wrong area, enfocing so called loud music or tv's – that happened in my condos bldgs as well. It was the worst experiences of my life. At 10:00 pm this goon would walk the halls listening for so called loud noises in places you paid on average quarter million dollars up for. Knock on your door and tell you to lower your volume – when that happened to me they had to have LAPD come out to get me off this clown. something l done paid for and you gonna tell me what l can and cant do. but it was always some Lucille from the midwest who would call these goons cause she couldn't sleep. actually these people are the ones that had been there since the ice age and they would become territorial. I drove them stone mad. If you saw this story on AC 360 you would have seen one of the tenants praising G.I. Joe for keeping the peace. They;re nothing but vigilantes and wanna have it their way, lousy dogs, wish that were my son – l'd smoke his azz on sight.

    March 15, 2012 at 2:53 am | Report abuse |
  14. tucole

    Florida law say the person has the right to stand their ground if they feel threatened. Because zimmerman called 911 & was advised to stand down which means to stop & cease action that law is therefore negated. That same law now applies to trayvon martin because he is now being approached, & pursued by a strange man at night with a gun. His life is now in danger and has the right to stand his ground. So if self defense is the case it would apply to trayvon martin not george zimmerman. Hope this helps.

    March 15, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Tami

      tucole,

      You are exactly right! This is a self defense case, however in reverse roles.

      March 16, 2012 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tami

    I agree with tucole. I am a woman and I would not get into the car with some strange man in an unmarked vehicle out of uniform making claims to be a police officer. When I lived in Colorado police officer were being accused and convicted of raping women. They would pull them over in isolated areas and give a bogus reason for the pull over. After too many of these cases women in Denver were advised to remain in their cars and tell the male officer that you would comply with any and all request; once a female officer was on site. So, this young man was in his rights to be guarded of a man he does not know and is not a police officer.

    By the way I was on the Oxnard, CA neighborhood watch committe. I was told to watch and report to the police not to confront anyone. Repeat: don't confront anyone! True story on file w/ Oxnard PD. "I reported an incident were a young man was climbing through a window he forced open. I gave police the address and location and they used protocol to get the man out of the home. Turns out he was the womans son. School ended early and it was really hot out side the 14yr old did not have a key of his own". What if I had shot him instead of waiting for the police. I would have to live with this for the rest of my life that I killed someones child just because I wanted to play GI Jane! However, it could have the reverse effect. What if his family owned a gun and I a strange woman was forcing my way in the home yelling neighborhood watch get out of the house you are accused of breaking and entering and the young man shot me. Well, he would have been acting in self defense and I the neighborhood watchwoman would have been dead wrong!

    March 16, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
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