March 20th, 2012
01:42 PM ET

911 calls paint picture of chaos after Florida teen is shot

The death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teen who was shot while walking in his neighborhood in Sanford, Florida, has sparked allegations of racial profiling and calls for the gunman to be charged.

Federal prosecutors and the FBI will investigate the incident.

George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who has acknowledged shooting Martin, has not been charged and says it was self-defense.

Martin, 17, was killed while walking to his father's fiancee's house in Sanford from a nearby convenience store.

Zimmerman first called police at 7:09 p.m. ET with concerns about a suspicious teen in the area, according to 911 tapes released by the Seminole County Sheriff's Department.

A 16-year-old girl who was on the phone with Martin most of the day last spoke to him around the time the incident allegedly began and lasted until 7:16 p.m. ET, when the call dropped. Almost immediately, 911 calls began coming in.  Police arrived on the scene at 7:17 p.m.

Several witnesses called 911 at 7:16, 7:17, 7:18 and 7:19 p.m. ET.

Below are the transcripts of the calls as Zimmerman and witnesses describe what they saw and heard that night:

7:09 p.m. ET

Dispatcher: "Do you need police, fire or medical?"

Zimmerman: "We had some break-ins in our neighborhood ... and there is a real suspicious guy. ... This guy looks like he's up to no good, he's on drugs or something. It's raining, and he's walking around looking about. "

Dispatcher: "Is this guy white, black, Hispanic?"

Zimmerman: "He looks black."

Dispatcher: "Did you see what he's wearing?"

Zimmerman: "A dark hoodie, grey hoodie, jeans or sweatpants or white shoes. He's walking around staring at the houses. Now he's just staring at me."

Dispatcher: "Location?"

Zimmerman: "He's near the clubhouse right now. Now he's coming towards me. He has his hands in his waistband. He is a black male. Something's wrong with him. Yep. He's coming to check me out. He's got something in his hands. I don't know what his deal is. Send officers over here."

Dispatcher: "Let me know if he does anything else."

Zimmerman: "These a**holes, they always get away. When you come in go straight to the left ... when you pass the clubhouse ..."

Dispatcher: "Clubhouse?"

Zimmerman: "Go straight in. Oh, s***. He's running ... down towards the other entrance of neighborhood."

Dispatcher: "He's running? Which way is he running?"

Zimmerman: "Down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood."

Dispatcher: "Which entrance is that, that he is running towards?

Zimmerman: "The back entrance."


Dispatcher: "Are you following him?"

Zimmerman: "Yeah."

Dispatcher: "OK. We don't need you to do that. What's your name?"

Zimmerman: "George. Zimmerman."

Dispatcher: "Do you want to meet with the officer ..."

Zimmerman: "Tell them to come past the clubhouse and make a left then past mailboxes and they will see my truck ..."

Dispatcher: "What's your apartment number?"

Zimmerman: "It's a home. ... I don't want to give that out. I don't know who this kid is."

Dispatcher: "I will let them know where to meet you."

Zimmerman: "Have them call me, and I will let you know where I'm at."


During part of this time, Martin is on the phone with a 16-year-old girl. Below is an account of the phone call as relayed to In Session's Sunny Hostin by a lawyer for the Martin family:

Martin told the girl someone was following him, and she advised him to run. Martin said he isn't going to run but will walk quickly. Zimmerman caught up with him, and Martin asked Zimmerman why he was following him. Zimmerman then asked Martin his name and why he was there. The girl on the phone says she heard Zimmerman push Martin, and then the call drops. She tried to call Martin back, but he didn't respond.


7:16 p.m. ET

Dispatcher: "Do you need police, fire or medical?"

Caller: "Maybe both. I'm not sure. There's just someone screaming outside."

Dispatcher: "Is it a male or female?"

Caller: "It sounds like a male."

Dispatcher: "You don't know why?"

Caller: "I don't know why. I think they are yelling 'help,' but I don't know. Just end someone quick, please."

Dispatcher: "Does he look hurt to you?"

Caller: "I can't see him. I don't want to go out there. I don't know what's going on."

Dispatcher: "So you think he's yelling help?"

Caller: "Yes. There's gunshots."

Dispatcher: "How many?"

Caller: "Just one."


Dispatcher: "Is he right outside?"

Caller: "Yes. Pretty much out the back, yes."

Dispatcher: "Is he in front of it or behind it?"

Caller: "He's behind my house."

Dispatcher: "I don't hear him yelling anymore. Do you hear anything?"

Caller: "No, I don't because I'm hiding upstairs. The gunshot was outside our house. You sent somebody, right?"

Dispatcher: "Do you hear any vehicles leaving or anything else?

Caller: "There's people yelling down there, but I don't want to go down there."

Dispatcher: "People are yelling now?"

Caller: "Yeah."

Dispatcher: "We do have officers on the way. Call us back if you see any vehicles leaving or anything."


7:16 p.m. ET

Dispatcher: "Police, fire or medical?"

Caller: "There's someone screaming outside."

Dispatcher: "Is that at where you are at?"

Caller: "Oh, my God, there is a gunshot, hurry up."


Dispatcher: "Do you see anybody? I don't need you to go outside."

Caller: "There is someone screaming. I just heard a gunshot."

Dispatcher: "Do you see anything? I don't need you to go outside. Do you hear screaming or anything?"

Caller: "Hurry up, they are right outside my house."

Dispatcher: "OK, we [have] police and emergency, OK. Are you in Sanford?"

Caller: "I see police now."

Dispatcher: "You see the officer?"

Caller: "Yeah, but like it's behind the house. There is a dead body there. It's not the front entrance. Oh, my God."

Dispatcher: "Please tell me so I can tell them."

Caller: "If you are looking at my house, it's behind by my back porch."

Dispatcher: "Coming from behind your house?"

Caller: "Yes, the back porch."

Dispatcher: "Stay on the line and update me."

Caller: "I just heard screaming and a gunshot."

Dispatcher: "We have an officer there. Did you hear any more gunshots?"

Caller: "No, I don't hear. Hurry up, hurry up."

Dispatcher: "OK, we have officers out there, OK? If anything changes, give us a call back, but we do have officers there. One officer is there."

Caller: "OK, did he see anything?"

Dispatcher: "I'm not sure, ma'am, I just know he is there, and two other officers are on their way, OK? If anything changes or anything more, call us back. As far as you know, it's coming from behind your house near your back-porch area? When you hear screaming, was it screaming of female or male?"

Caller: "Male."

Dispatcher: "So, when you heard screaming, it was a male screaming?"

Caller: "Yes. And the guy on top had a white t-shirt."

Dispatcher: "What do you mean guy on top? Did you see a fight?"

Caller: "I don't know, I just looked out my window, and there was a guy on top wearing a white t-shirt."

Dispatcher: "A white t-shirt. Did you see what kind of pants? He was on top of what?"

Caller: "I couldn't see the person he was on."

Dispatcher: "But he was on top of a person?"

Caller: "Yes."

Dispatcher: "The guy with the white t-shirt, did he get up and run?"

Caller: "I don't know. Went to the phone to call you

Dispatcher: "White, black or Hispanic?"

Caller: "I couldn't tell, it was completely dark."

Dispatcher: "We have several units en route."

Caller: "Thank you."

7:17 p.m. ET

Dispatcher: "Do you need police, fire or medical?"

Caller: "I’m looking out my deck, and someone is screaming 'help,' and I don’t know. … I heard a bang. I’m looking out my window, out my backyard, and someone is yelling and screaming 'help.' "

Dispatcher: "You are not the only person calling. We have more than one officer on the scene and another on the way."

Caller: "Oh, my God. I see the person now. I see him walking. There’s a man coming out and people coming out with flashlights. Oh, my God. I don’t know what he did to this person. I can see there is a man walking out with a flashlight right now."

Dispatcher: "Was it a male or female voice?"

Caller: "The man is up right now. Someone is coming over. I’m glad other people called."

Dispatcher: "We should be out there right now."

Caller: "I can open my window and hear it."

Dispatcher: "You can still hear it?"

Caller: "I don’t know what is happening. Someone is laying on the ground."

Dispatcher: "What’s happening? Someone is on the ground? Someone has been shot? Calm down, stay on the line with me. Like I said, we have an officer on the scene, and we have other officers on the line."

Caller: "Oh, my God. They better hurry up. Someone is on the ground. Oh, my God! I see out my back window, sidewalk, grass, something is really bad. There is a man out here with a flashlight."

Dispatcher: "Is this person laying down in the street?"

Caller: "No, it's from my back window."

Dispatcher: "So is the person laying down in the street or in the grass?"

Caller: "The grass. Oh, my God! I think there is another gentleman with a flashlight. ... I think police. Oh, my God! He shot, he shot the person.He says he shot the person. He said he shot the person."

Dispatcher: "Who saying they shot who?"

Caller: "The people out there, a guy is raising his hands up, he's saying he shot a person. I think it's a police officer that's with him right now. arrest - uh - oh, my God, why - why (inaudible)"

Dispatcher: "Our officer is there, he has somebody at gunpoint. They're going to handle the situation from here."

Caller: "Oh! Oh, my God, somebody would be shot!"

Dispatcher: "It's probably going to be best if you stay inside your home for the time being, OK?"

Caller:" I know. I can't believe somebody's killed. He was saying help. Why didn't someone come out and help him?"

Dispatcher: "Listen, we don't know if they been killed ..."

Caller: "Yes, the person is dead, laying on the ground."

Dispatcher: "Just because he's laying on the ground don't mean he's passed. We have an ambulance on the way, and we are probably going to pick him up and take him to the hospital."

Caller: "I didn't see cause it was too dark, and I just heard people screaming 'help me, help me.' And this person shot him! He was like wrestling with him, you know what I mean, on the ground, from what I can see it was very dark. The man didn't try to run away or anything. I don't want to be a witness or anything. I'm scared. Oh, my god, a young boy, I can't imagine, I haven't seen anyone killed. This is a nice neighborhood. Oh, my God, I'm too scared to live here."

Dispatcher: "You don't have to worry right now. We have many officers on the way. Two officers on scene right now, we are on scene, OK?"


7:17 p.m. ET

Dispatcher: "Do you need police, fire or medical?"

Caller: "Police. I just heard a shot behind my house. They are wrestling outside the back of my porch."

Dispatcher: "You just heard one shot go off?""

Caller: "It was either that or a rock at the window or something else. The guy's yelling 'help,' and I'm not going to help."

Dispatcher: "So you can hear someone yelling for help?"

Caller: "I'm pretty sure the guy is dead out here. Holy s***"

Dispatcher: "OK, we have several people calling in. Anything else that you heard?"

Caller: "A guy yelling, 'help.' Oh, my God! There is a guy with a flashlight in the backyard now. I think there's flashlights and a guy. ... I don't know if that's a cop. "

Dispatcher: "OK, we have several calls. Are you sure when you heard voices it was one person yelling, right?"

Caller: "There were two guys in the yard with flashlights, and there is a black guy down like he's been shot, and he's dead."

Dispatcher: "I have several officers going out there."


7:17 p.m. ET

Dispatcher: "Do you need police, fire or medical?"

Caller: "Medical. I think someone has been shot."

Dispatcher: "Why do you think someone has been shot?"

Caller: "Because they are laying in the backyard and a gunshot and they said 'call 911.' Now there are people coming with flashlights ..."

Dispatcher: "And it's in the backyard?"

Caller: "Yes."

Dispatcher: "And someone is laying in the backyard?"

Caller: "Yes, there are people around him now."

Dispatcher: "You there with kids?"

Caller: "Yes, my daughter. He is a black guy."

Dispatcher: "We have units on the way. What do you mean it's a black guy?"

Caller: "There is a black male standing over him."

Dispatcher: "Can you tell me what he's wearing?"

Caller: "I think someone else called 911."

Dispatcher: "You do see officers out there?"

Caller: "Yeah, I think that's the flashlights that we see."


7:18 p.m. ET

Dispatcher: "Do you need police, fire or medical?"

Caller: "This is 911, correct? Police or medical. Someone is yelling two doors down from me, screaming, hollering 'help, help, help.' There is an elderly man that lives down there. I don't know. I heard a gunshot. I don't know if it would be ambulance."

Dispatcher: "How many shots did you hear?"

Caller: "One."

Dispatcher: "How long ago?"

Caller: "As soon as I heard that I picked up the phone and called."

Dispatcher: "Before calling 911?"

Caller: "Yes. There is somebody out by my back porch. ... There is someone walking around with a flashlight. The police may already be here. I don't know. Someone is out there with a flashlight, but I did hear something."

Dispatcher: "We do have units there."

Caller: "Oh, my God."

Dispatcher: "And the screaming, was it a male or female you heard?"

Caller: "It sounded to me like a male, and from what I know and I've been here four years, there is an elderly man that lives like four doors down, um, north of me, and I'm inside."

Dispatcher: "Do you think it's coming from your area?"

Caller: "I don't know, ma'am, I'm standing at my back sliding glass door. I don't see anything but a flashlight shining around, but I did hear someone yelling 'help, help, help' or 'oh, my gosh' and something, then moaning and a boom, and I picked up the phone and called."

Dispatcher: "Did you see or hear anything else like a vehicle pulling away?"

Caller: "No, ma'am, because I'm in the back, and in the back there is just a walkway. It could have been someone in the front with a car, I don't know, but I was in the back. It was scary. There is someone still back there with flashlights walking around."

Dispatcher: "There should be someone on the scene ..."


7:19 p.m. ET

Dispatcher: "Do you need police, fire or medical?"

Caller: "My brother said someone got shot behind our house."

Dispatcher: "Is your brother out there right now?"

Caller: "No, he ran in the house."

Dispatcher: "Do you know who was shot?"

Caller: "No idea. ... I'm inside. It's behind our house. ... Yeah."

Dispatcher: "You didn't see or hear anything else? Did you hear the shot?"

Caller: "I heard something, and my brother ran in the house."

Dispatcher: "My brother saw it."

Dispatcher: "What did you see?"

Caller: "I saw a man laying on the ground screaming who needed help. I was going to go over there to try and help him, but my dog got off the leash, and I ran and got him, and I hurried around and down, and the screaming stopped."

Dispatcher: "Did you see the person get shot?"

Caller: "No."

Dispatcher: Did you know the person who got shot, or did you see the person with the gun?"

Caller: "No, I just heard a shot, and the screaming stopped."


Officers arrived on the scene at 7:17 p.m. ET, according to a police report.

Officers Timothy Smith and Ricardo Alayo said they noted a black male in a gray hooded sweatshirt lying face-down in the grass, as well as a white male in the area.

"Zimmerman stated that he had shot the subject and was still armed," Smith wrote in a police report.

Smith said he asked Zimmerman to hand over the weapon, a Kel Tec 9 mm, and handcuffed him.

"While I was in such close contact with Zimmerman, I could observe that his back appeared to be wet and he was covered in grass, as if he was laying on his back on the ground," Smith wrote in the police report. "Zimmerman was also bleeding from the nose and the back of the head."

The officers also made several attempts to revive Martin.

When police put Zimmerman in the back of the cruiser, he said, "I was yelling for someone to help me, but no one would help me," according to the police report.

soundoff (1,408 Responses)
  1. casey

    Self defense my butt, he shot him because he wanted to. Look at the size of Zimmerman and the size of the boy, and the phone calls from his girlfriend the time of the altercation. Zimmerman needs to go to prison for MURDER. Zimmerman did NOT listen to 911 dispatchers and followed there is no excuse for that. All Zimmerman had to do was if he thought he was a threat was point the gun at him and NOT shoot him and wait for police to arrive. Instead he shot him, that is sad. I feel heartbreak for his family and I hope he gets the justice he should have.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • spud224w48435

      In conceal carry classes they will tell you to not put yourself in a position to have to use your gun. If he in fact shot the boy in self defense (which no one really believes) a jury will not look favorably upon his actions because he put himself in that position to have to shoot the boy (if in fact he HAD to shoot him, which I do not believe).

      March 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Giampaolo

    Why has Mr. Zimmerman not issued a public apology expressing remorse for the death of a boy who had committed no crime, carried no weapons, and did not deserve to die. If he is such a great guy, as his father claims, how is he not agonizing over the fact that an innocent young person with a bright future is dead by his hand and judgement? A family has lost their child because of his actions, but his family's only comments are to say what a great non-judgemental guy George Zimmerman is? How bout expressing regret. Remorse. Contrition.

    That alone should be all the evidence a prosecutor needs to know about George Zimmerman when examining his claim of self defense.

    George Zimmerman still thinks there is nothing wrong with what he did. People with that blunted of a brain are a menace to society, and must be put away for the safety of the community.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      From a lawyer standpoint, if he submits a public apology, he admits wrongdoing. He's obviously not going to do that.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • RapidOne

      0 remorse AND LIED TO POLICE. Along with the rest of the evidence, the only reason Zimmerman hasn't been arrested involves racism and bigotry. Disgraceful Sanford police and all people irrational and idiotic enough to think otherwise with the avalanche of evidence AGAINST Zimmerman, the child murderer.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Giampaolo

      Trust me, I'm coming from a lawyers standpoint. And if I ever had to convince a jury that his guy truly acted in self defense I would pray that he was on the record of regretting this outcome. It would further his argument that the killing was not willful, but regretful, as he had no choice but to defend himself.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. george zimmerman

    Wow!! Guilty

    March 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Pete/Ark

    It's an ugly world out there...any time you reenact this the victim and the aggressor could be reversed....I have a theory but it's only conjecture...i can wait "til it all shakes out...

    March 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. olepi

    Zimmerman called 911 FORTY times! His neighbors complained about him being aggressive. He was obsessed with guns and crime.

    An obvious case of a paranoid slipping through the cracks, getting a gun, and shooting someone. That he is still on the streets is a travesty.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. thebigman205

    So Zimmerman should be found and killed. Situation over.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bob

    Guys, number one, Zimmerman is Hispanic, not white. Number two, if you read one of the articles from the local news, it says that he was not acting in "Neighborhood Watch" capacity at the time.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • waterman

      He is hispanic AND white. Hispanic is not a race, and hispanics can be white, black, or brown. White hispanics check the 'white' box in forms.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jake

    This guy hunted this poor child down. For those of you defending Zimmerman because he had a bloody nose have you given thought that once he chased this poor child down, once the child was faced with some crazy man with a gun who pushed him that the child may have decided to actually defend himself? If I were in Trayvon's position, faced with some crazed man with a gun I sure as hell would have fought for my life. Zimmerman is a coward with a gun, a serious danger to all around....and if allowed to go free he will kill again.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Your absolutely right, Zimmerman nothing more than a coward with a gun. A unarmed KID is DEAD. race doesnt matter a KID is DEAD.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerutha

      Kinda sounds like this kid, when confronted with a moron with a gun, defended himself and that is why Zimmerman's back was wet. Prolly got socked int he what did he do...he shot the kid. Pretty straight forward case of murder if you ask me.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Erik

    Time to amend the Florida law to prevent angry bigoted gun owners from pursuing people they decide are a threat. In their moment of stress and confusion they mistakenly believe that murdering the victim ensures no witness to their crime. If they know they have no right to pursue these things won't happen.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cindy

    Just because its a black boy shot in this incident here why does it become "racial profiling"????????????? It could have been that the Hispanic american male who shot the boy was actually whacked out probably with a low IQ and a danger to everyone and not just the boy he shot!!!!!!!! Could everyone stop making this a race issue and just prosecute the killer as a killer and not make this to be a black, white or hispanic issue!!!!!!!

    March 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Thank You Cindy, you are correct. This is not about race, this is about an unarmed KID shot DEAD.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      Cindy – Are you stupid? Really? Do you REALLY think that if the boy was white they still would have not charged Zimmerman? Are you aware of the history of violence and corruption towards black people? Appalling how stupid you are. Appalling. I am white, by the way. This is about race. Zero doubt. If young Martin was white, Zimmerman would be in jail. Grow the F up, Cindy.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jim

    Jeezus, it sounded like he tried to start a fight with the kid and wrestle him, and then while the kid was yelling help, he pulled out the gun and shot him. I cannot believe the sick monster hasn't been arrested yet, I can only hope there will be a serious investigation into the police department and how they tried to cover this up by lieing to the family of the mans history, they could care less about justice it looks like in Florida.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cindy

    Just because its a black boy shot in this incident here why does it become "racial profiling"????????????? It could have been that the Hispanic american male who shot the boy was actually wacked out probably with a low IQ and a danger to everyone and not just the boy he shot!!!!!!!! Could everyone stop making this a race issue and just prosecute the killer as a killer and not make this to be a black, white or hispanic issue!!!!!!!

    March 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. N. B

    Okay, this is crazy.. why are people waiting for the screams to be analyzed? Does it really matter who was screaming or not/ (And I believe it was Martin not Zimmerman),, I say that because it still doesnt dispute the fact that Zimmerman was the aggressor point blank..Zimmerman FOLLOWED HIM, CHASED HIM DOWN AND ASSAULTED/MURDERED Trayvon Martin!! Screams prove nothing!! Zimmerman took things into his own hands.. lied and said he was attacked from behind.. if that was the case, why wasnt Martin found dead by his car? So if there was screaming, Martin had every right to DEFEND himself against someone who acted as a vigilante for no reason other than racial profiling.. (And I dont give a dang if he was white, hispanic or whatever).. He had something against this young man, and he acted out of pure hate! So dont wait to analyze the screams, take this man to jail ASAP.. HE IS GUILTY OF MURDER!!!

    March 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      well said ...

      March 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. waterman

    It is an open and shut case. Zimmerman committed a murder and broke the law. Sanford Police thinks it is okay for a private citizen to follow anyone at night in an SUV with a loaded gun, and shoot them at the slightest imaginary perception of threat. Fire these cops.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. RapidOne


    March 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
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