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. DaRealist

    zimmerman pulled the race card then the trigger.

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

    Rest in peace, young man. That's difficult to say right now, but in this life is trouble and I hope you are free in the next.

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

      Amen. If only cooler heads had prevailed...

      March 20, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rich

    If im walking and someone follows me and tries to intimidate me, then i'll defend myself

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

    seslf- defense right, gun against soda pop

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

    Many hispanic people are racist jerks who think they are better than black people. Some of them will go as far as calling black people the N word. My heart goes out to Trayvon's family. This is heart wrenching! This is exactly what I have been telling my younger brothers. Yes America have laws. Yes America have justice. But if you are a black person, those laws and justice are not for you. You just have to watch out for yourself basically. I live in Utah county where my 17 years old brother has been beaten up by a police officer because he was laughing out loud during an event where the officer was passing by. Everyone looks at him and said yes he is black-he probably deserved the treatment the officer of law was inflicting to him. Black people need to understand America is not their home. That's why they call us African-American and not American. If you are a black male (even female) living in this country, please keep it low. keep it to yourself. Yes America is the land of morality, justice, equity, but remember you are African-American and not American. Thus, you don't get to benefit from the justice, morality, and equity of this land.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Brown

      OMG, people of every race could be called racist that includes whites, blacks, hispanics, asians, and people from the middle east. Why does this have to be about race? Its tragic when any young people dies.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kellee

      You are correct and that is why America is on a slow demise that will lead to revolution or worse. Don't worry like 9/11 America chickens will one day come home to roost.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Read my postin on Latinos. Zimmerman was clearly one of those "Latinos" of Anglo descent, who even discriminate on other "Latinos". Let not forget that what are now "Latinos are really indiginous peoples, colonized by Anglo.. Some of those Anglos have assimilated to the "Latino/Mestizo" culture as much as they forced us to. However, many of them have not left behind the Supreme Rce idealogy. As a latino of indigenous descent, it is my intent to clarify things so that we are all not bunched in to one nasty bunch. if there is a way to sort these postings. see my previous post which explains a bit more on the term "LATINO"

      March 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Well said.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      I m a White guy but I understand your point.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      As I recall, white Americans did not introduce the term "African-american". Blacks wanted to acknowledge their African roots; being called American was not enough for them. So get your pop culture and pop history correct.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steven Smith

      I am a grown 47 year old black male, single father and I teach my children about the dangers they will face from people who have issue with them because of their race. No doubt this son of a B***h needs his clock cleaned. He is nothing other than a wannabe cop who can't make the cut so he becomes the gun-toting bully of the neighborhood trying to put fear into people and a young, unarmed child on the phone with his girlfriend carrying soda and skittles. If the system does not put this man in jail real soon I hope and pray he receives the street justice he one to the back of the head. My heart and prayers go out to the family who is enduring the loss of a child and injustice. You are right, I beginning to agree that we don't stand a chance at justice in this country. Put this man before a jury and do it soon or who knows what his fate will be as he now has millions of people calling for his head on a platter. The sooner the better.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Wow this comment was totally racist. This whole persecution of Zimmerman is racist. It seems like police report supports his claims of self defense. His back was covered in grass as if he had been pinned on his back. Also he was bleeding from his face and the back of his head. This teen does not sound as innocent as the black community want to make him out to be. The evidence does not support his innocence here.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Law Abiding Citizen

    Fry him.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      The guilty party is no longer available for punnishment.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. J

    Zimmerman, eye for an eye. Kill him. Death penalty.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      I agree!

      March 20, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Georgie

      George is my Hero.

      March 30, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bill

    Where else in this country does a murder suspect say, "Hey, it was self defense," and all police and prosecutors say, "Oh, okay. You're free to go. Have a nice life." W T F !!!!!!!!!

    March 20, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rennie


      March 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      He isn't a murder suspect. There is evidence to support his claim of self defense. Did you not read the article above? Let me tell you the important facts: 1. He cried for help. Sounds like the gun was his last resort. Nobody would help him so he had to defend himself. 2. He was bleeding from the back of his head and his face. If it were a murder he would have just shot the guy and left unharmed. 3. There was grass on his back indicating that he had been underneath his attacker. That is the evidence and it all points to self defense. Remove color from this argument and nobody would be up in arms.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John Brown

    LYNN: PS I STUDY LAW, do you work for the defense or DA or do you study some other type of law. Based on the 911 calls, one can say he is guilty but of what crime (1st degree murder, 2nd degree murder, man slaughter)? You should know the case needs to be heard by a jury of his peers. If you study law you should know he is innocent till proven guilty,

    March 20, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      No need for a trial. No crime was committed. Maybe assult but charging a dead kid is a waste of time and money.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bill

    I have to believe the FBI and Justice Department will take care of this corrupt police force. I have to believe this.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. DaRealist

    If a black neighborhood watchman shot and killed white teenager coming into the hood looking for drugs, he'd be facing first degree murder and the death penalty for protecting his neighborhood. where's the justice here?

    March 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Justice For All

    We need stronger gun laws. He was trying to be a hero at the cost of a young life. Did he not listen to the dispatcher about following this kid. NOOOO.... He thought he was going to be a neighborhood hero......did the neighbors know that he owned and carried a gun while doing his neighborly duties. He was looking for a fight that night. How stupid can one individual be. Know he may spend the rest of his life behind bars. But knowing Florida, and how they prosecute murders he most likely will get off.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Georgie

      When we have less blacks in the USA I will gladly surrender my guns.

      March 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. kayla

    its so sad to know that the world we live in today is still full of people that think it ok for things like this to happen. one would hate to think its about race,but what else could it be?if zimmerman was truly sorry for his actions why hasnt he stepped forward and at least offered an apology to TRAYVON MARTIN family. as a mother of a 14 year old black male it saddens me but also scares me to death to know that it could have easily been my son.WalkingWhileBlack is the only thing TRAYVON MARTIN did wrong. may GOD bless his family and bring his MURDERER-a punk who had nothing better to do that night to justice.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alix

      This guy has to hang for this period!!!!

      March 20, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • CJ Topspin

      Unfortunately, in todays society, apologizing admits fault...and apologizing to the family would only open him up to civil liability. If there is one thing modern American society has taught us it is that taking responsibility for your actions is NEVER a good thing.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • nunya

      He likely has an attorney advising him not to say anything. He is already being tried in the public eye. By saying anything, even if he was in the right and sorry – (Not saying he was) then it would be perceived that his actions make him guilty.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. exodus

    Seems by all accounts that everyone heard cries for help, a gunshot and silence. According to the police report, Zimmerman states he was yelling for help and no one would help him. If you heard the 911 calls with Zimmerman on them then you clearly heard another voice crying out before the gunshot all of which leads me to believe this is all Zimmerman's fault. He's wandering around a neighborhood with a gun, kills a 17 year old kid armed with Skittles and claims self defense? This POS should be made an example of!

    March 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. banasy©

    That's the way I took it.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43