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. Sharon

    This is the first time I heard the 911 call of what happened that night I am truly sad of how they are reacting to what happened. If it had been the other way around Trayvon would be in jail with no questions asked. What is this world coming too. George Zimmerman is not incident by no means. He's a KILLER I have no remorse him what so ever he will meet his maker and pay for what he did to this young man.....

    March 21, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      And how is it that you know the details of what happened?

      March 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Flo

      Choices.Too many, but knowing you have eiohccs should be an empowering realization. But when the choice is to wear a Man Bag, or to go to the dentist, or get a vaccine for shingles the empowerment has more risk than slamdunk upside. Knowing you have a choice to act or stay the course can be seen as taking control, or giving control up to fear.What eiohccs have you made that took control of your life? Even at my demi-bloated state I am 1/3 less body mass than I was 5 years ago. That choice had consequences I now work out at least an hour at least 6 days a week but I took control.Now I have to make the choice to let a doctor tell me where my less bloated body has drifted away from my control in ways I can't perceive unless I let him/her poke, probe and palpate. Ick. How do you get a loved one (typically a white male like moi) to endure that oh-so-uncomfy ordeal?

      April 22, 2012 at 5:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. James Taylor

    SO a white Hispanic kid just go out and shoots a another black kid that happens to be lost in his hood? How crazy is this.

    Why he has to follow him? All he had to do is wait until the cops arrive and ask the black boy some questions. NO, he had to follow him and try to be a "hero" of some kind. Instead he killed an innocent person.
    Very sad. He needs to go to jail.

    March 21, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • I live in Central Florida

      Zimmerman is not a kid....he is a grown man

      March 21, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. James Taylor

    THe kid George Z is white and Hispanic. Many white Hispanics are racist. Who do you think discovered America and brought the very first black slaves into the New World? SPAIN!!! Over 100 yrs before the UK came to the Americas.

    Have any of you traveled to Latin America? Blacks are way below the spectrum just like they were over 500 yrs ago. Only the white Hispanic folks have the $$$ and the power. Unless you are from the Dominican Republic or Puerto RIco where baseball players with their $$$ have power too.
    Have you ever seeing any blacks or Indians Hispanics in Argentina? No way Jose. Over 150 yrs ago during their independence from Spain, Argentinians would make sure that blacks or Indians were at the front of the battle field making sure they would be the first one to get killed. Now Argentina is one of the whitest nations in the world with its Spanish, Italian, German and other Euro stock. And blacks in the USA complain about racism. They dont know how good they have it in the USA. Too bad for this kid. SInce when getting lost would get you kill by a another racist and crazy white Hispanic kid chasing you with a gun? LOL

    March 21, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mother of 2 Young Black Males

    I think that to follow the person you "feel threatened" by while carrying a gun is questionable in and of itself, especially when you were advised not to. And then to be the one "yelling for help"? Come on people.

    March 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lexx

      I totally agree

      March 21, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • paulyrulo

      Well said....this is an outrage and he should be found guilty of first degree murder.....this boy was no threat...this was some low life macho anti hero trying to live out his Clint Eastwood delusions of grandeur.
      He must be brought to justice. I feel so sad for that boy and his family.....just think if it was you son.

      March 21, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Samantha Beasley

    The man who shot & killed the Martin boy is a racist & one of the worst kinds. Who cares if a hispanic is part of the white race, black race or the red race. What we all are is the human race. How dare this idiot and bigot hunt this young man down and then shot & kill him claiming that his big, fat & stupid ass was in danger. This is a clear case of murder in the 1st degee and this nut should be prosecuted for it and taken off the street. Shame on Sanford, FLorida police department for letting this killer remain on the streets. They all must be idiots to not see that this young boy was killed in cold blood. They sound like bigots to me. No person of the human race should rest until this killer is bought to JUSTICE.

    March 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Una amiga

    All the comments between 5:00 pm Tuesday and noon today have been deleted. What's up with that??

    March 21, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Una amiga

    I am also a white half Latina. (Yes, Latinos can be white or black or both, my father's family is originally from Spain, moved to Puerto Rico and I have mostly white Spanish and some native American blood from Puerto Rico as well. My mum's Irish) I am ashamed of this horrible Zimmerman person. The truth is that if Trayvon hadn't been black, Z wouldn't have called 911 and if Zimmerman HAD been black, the police would have arrested him on the spot. It's so sad, but it's true that this IS about race. My prayers are with Trayvon's family and friends

    March 21, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ProperVillain

    "has not been charged and says it was self-defense."

    What a total and utter moron. Yes, I'm sure the bag of skittles that this unarmed 17 year old kid screamed "I need to protect myself using deadly force." This moron needs to be charged with manslaughter (minimum) and locked up for a LOOOOONNNNGGGGG time. I think Zimmerman is nothing more than a wanna-be cop who let his inflated sense of community worth get the better of him. And, again, what the hell was he doing on a "neighborhood watch" armed?

    March 21, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. D. Anders

    Pfft, another dead hoodrat. Who cares? Zimmerman did the world a favor.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      i think your ignorant ass is a hoodrat. i dont know how you can think shooting down an innocent boy, regardless of race is doing somebody a favor. people like you make the world a worse place to live, ESPECIALLY to minorities. so i would stfu

      March 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • J. Wilson


      March 21, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • dtr43r

      D. Anders, how in the world can you consider this yound boy a hoodrat with his school achievements and a good family. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. Could it be possible that someone raised you to be like this. You mean a young black kid in Sanford FL can't walk to a convenience store without someone looking at his journey as an opportunity to eliminate him? OMG!

      March 21, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. TrueAmerican

    I am shocked that there continues to be so many postings of biased statements that are not based on what little facts are known. Opinions are one thing, but blatant statements of retribution and violence will only lead to more incidents like this. Wake-up America, If you cannot see that, you are "color-blind."

    March 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. The Motley Sage

    This is my first time reading the 911 calls in their entirety. It seems even more clear that Zimmerman is guilty...especially after hearing the 'girl on the phone with Trayvon" testimony. He tried to get away from this guy Zimmerman from the start, got caught, tried to fight him off, got a couple licks in (bloody nose, etc), HE screamed for help, and got shot. Zimmerman will not be free for long, especially now that the FEDS are involved.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. The Motley Sage

    The father's facial expression in the still-shot at the top of this article is heartbreaking. His son has died before him. ..violently, senselessly, and possibly in vain. This entire ordeal must be worse than hell for him.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Stop hating

    Look, I don't care if the shooter was white, hispanic, italian, black, asian or extra-terrestrial.
    He acted like a yahoo wannabee crime fighter, he had no business carrying around a gun and approaching anybody.
    He should be charged with a crime, though I'm sure it will not be murder, as it sounds more like an extremely negligent act, probably manslaughter of some degree.

    March 21, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. George

    Good shoot!

    March 21, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • anger

      Yeah too bad it wasn't the guy who said "Good Shoot".

      Zimmerman should never have got out of his car. You can't claim self defense when you start a fight.
      This george zimmerman is not a Cop, so he is not justified in shooting anyone, especially when he instigates it.

      March 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • soulcatcher

      and the firing squad unloads on George...

      March 21, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. sircharles

    Mr. made a very very bad mistake that you could have walked away and made some investigation and gather facts the next day with some day light. You could have done a better job accessing what the following night was all about. Getting Candy at the local store; not creating or causing any crimes but to stop what you did you added to the problem. You perhaps have seen the teen around on many, many occasions. Until you tell the truth, this teen death will haunt you for the rest of your life! that is the only thing that stands in the mist of this case that should not have happen, Neighborhood Watch or not, you don't shoot people, period.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:36 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