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)

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

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

    the kid was wearing a hoody, so Zimmerman was on top of him and the kid was screaming for help.

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

      Bingo Juggernaut!

      March 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bill

    what do you suppose the dept.'s course of action would have been if mr. zimmerman had been a 240 lb.
    black male and treyvon a 17 yr. old white female. more importantly what precedent is the dept. setting with
    it's ( shooter claims self-defense ) rational?
    it's been too long and the authorities too quiet. at least one channel is keeping this tragedy 'in the news'

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

      Yes I don't understand. Can't 90% of murders claim self-defense??!!

      March 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tara

    @ Areacode612 Here's where the dispatcher tells him not to follow. "Dispatcher: "OK. We don't need you to do that. What's your name?" " No lie started at all. You can even listen to the tapes. Zimmerman wasn't following the basic rules of a neighborhood watch– No guns, don't follow, just contact authorities. He really seems to have been acting like a wanna be cop. Racist? Perhaps, or in my opinion even likely. But I really think his main motive was the thrill of the chase/capture and pull the gun on the bad guys.
    And Florida's foolish "Stand Your Ground" law makes it even easier for him to get away with it!

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

      Agreed, Tara. Regardless of the race card being pulled, this man had absolutely NO BUSINESS going after the victim. He was told to stay put, buy a trained dispatcher. Eventhough he was not bound buy that "order", he made the decision to keep following this young man. I hope he gets justice, one way or the other.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      I'm not disagreeing with you, per say, but I support self-defense laws.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mr. Moderate

    A well regulated militia???????????????????????????????????????????????????

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

      Can they spell "regulated" in Florida?

      March 20, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Melo Bryant

    Everybody knows that if the boy had been white, the guy would have been charged with murder. The boy ran from him. Guys like him get murdered in back alleys. Evidence is clear. He will get his either through justice or an alley.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rae Ann Pointer

    When does a man become a boy? When he is black and shot by a non black.

    When does a hispanic man become a white man? When CNN wants to patronize blacks for more viewership.

    When does a local law enforcement issue become the focus of Eric Holder's DOJ? When we need b_lac ks to get out of their slippers and vote for him.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      When does justice prevail???? An unarmed KID is DEAD and your worried about the race of the victim and suspect. It doesnt matter what color they were, someone is DEAD that didnt have to be

      March 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      When does Rae Ann Pointer grow a heart?

      March 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anthony

      I really wish CNN would monitor comments like these. It's no wonder some can't get out of the 1940's, 50's and 60's! My grandmother lived in a time where an African American person couldn't go into a diner or bathroom. Based on your comment, an African American needs permission to walk on a sidewalk and talk on a phone. He targeted a young boy! He had a 9mm pistol and it emboldened him to action. The cops should have arrested him or held him for questioning at minimum. I'm sick and tired of wrong getting treated right! There is a reason why even beat cops call SWAT! It's called Escalation of Force to match the threat. This wasn't even close! If he had been a TRAINED Police Officer, at worst, the kid would have been tasered. You can't build houses with cards and expect bricks not to shatter them.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle Auguste

      What if your child was gunned down and the killer was out walking free with his gun..Would you feel the same way?

      March 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rennie

      I suggest we ignore color or ethnicity and and focus on a guy using a gun when and where he did not need. Arrest Zimmerman

      March 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kellee

      Shut up you racist white devil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      March 20, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • You are a racist, Rae Ann

      You are a bigot, through and through, Rae Ann. Shame on you. An unarmed 17-year old kid running away from an armed adult who has been told by police to stop following the person is a victim, no matter what color he is....was.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Giampaolo

      What is it with you tin-foil-hat wearing weirdos that think the media is trying to take over your brain?
      You are as paranoid as George Zimmerman.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. SF

    I just wanted to point out that white and Hispanic are not two different things. White is a race, while Hispanic is ethnicity that means having a Spanish speaking heritage.

    One is Hispanic while they might be white, Asian, or African-American race. That's why these two are always two different questions in censuses and other government forms. So, George Zimmerman is a white Hispanic. it's not an oxymoron.

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

    Self Defense!? At what point did George Zimmerman defend himself? when he pulled out a gun? Really!? That's pretty cheap defense in my humble opinion. Raise your fists and defend yourself like a man loser.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ina Pearson

    I was listeniing this morning, I wish I had tuned in to hear the broadcaster's name, and heard one of your broadcasters say that the public outrage began as a result of celebrity tweets. Not true! People that I know were enraged at the first reporting of the news item We, the public, can, and do think for ourselves..

    March 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. waterman

    I would bet good money that Zimmerman watches Fox news every day. Probably a Rush Limbaugh fan and a tea party member.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rae Ann Pointer

      Because Hispanics watch Fox News. Yeah right.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rae Ann Pointer

    Looks like the Brady Campaign, Media Matters, CAP etc. are all out in force today.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. D

    I wouldn't say it was Racist. Why is Zimmerman head bleeding and noise bloodied? From pure speculation on the voice call records it sounds like Zimmerman was playing cop. That is not legal. He chased down Martin. Martin tried to get away. When he was confronted, Martin beat up Zimmerman and Zimmerman shot him. If I were a lawyer I would plead self defense or for a manslaughter deal for Zimmerman. Definetly not pre meditated murder but he provoked a fight and when it happened he shot the guy. My vote would be Manslaughter.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kellee

      What the hell would you or your son do if a crazy white man was chasing you with a gun. Oh wait white people can do whatever they want to do and you don't care what happen to anybody else. That why the whole world is suppose to cry on 9/11. If I were to think like you white people the Muslims were protecting themselves and those people that die deserve it.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. LtButRt

    I hope there are some sort of palpable consequences for this knucklehead Zimmerman.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. David Crandall

    Never, every believe a criminal record. They are not the truth about who was the victim and who was the perpetrator. The courts are biased based on race, gender and how much money was paid to get out of it. Criminal records have nothing to do the with the truth.

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

      Let me were framed...amiright?

      March 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lorraine

    Was going to move to Florida. That state has so too many murders and crazy stuff going on. I think I'll stay put in this country's vacation land MAINE . This man should be held responsible for the death of this kid. Wresting with a kid should have been a piece of cake for this large man. Maybe that's why he carry's a gun, because he's to fat to subdue anyone without shooting them first.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
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