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. Tyrone

    It's sad. This young man never learned the cardinal rule in the USA, the black male is an endangered species. Unfortunately, it's always open season. This overt act of terrorism must not continue to go unpunished.

    March 21, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tiffany

    i am very discusted ....very upset about this racist world when will it stop's 2012 and the world is going backwards instead of forwards .. hopfully ppl see this is not a black person outlet we as ppl are always targeted......

    March 21, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. tiffany

    zimmerman have back up those police officers are supporting him yeah another one of those black boys dead ...

    March 21, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lissa

    This type of bs makes me sick to my stomach. Racism is still alive and well. Blue eyed devils!

    March 21, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Paladin


    March 21, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tom Jamo

    This man was going to shoot someone if not today then tomorrow or the next day or the next day he was going to shoot someone. It was just a matter of time, going out night after night with his gun just waiting for the chance to come along to shoot someone. He went after this child with his gun, followed him with his gun, he was going to shoot this child I mean lets call it like it is he is a child and this racist was going to shoot someone. If not today then tomorrow or the next day or the next day,HE WAS GOING TO SHOOT SOMEONE WITH HIS BIG BAD GUN.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ribidit

      exactly – and now in addition to a young boy being dead, this guys life is OVER as he knew it....I hope that he gets convicted of murder and spends the rest of his miserable, judgemental, pathetic wanna-be life in jail...RIP trayvon – we'll take it from here.

      March 21, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. plush

    Too bad this was not a white 17 year old, then this would not even be a story. Lynch mob mentality.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • una amiga

      Plush – it wouldn't be a story because if he'd shot a white kid, the police would have arrested him.
      They also would have arrested him if Zimmerman was black. Florida police S*CK!!!

      March 21, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tom Jamo

    The day he got that gun was the day that for sure he was going to shoot someone, that is what racist pigs do when they carry a gun at night looking for trouble, looking for the chance to shoot someone and be the big man he new he would never be

    March 21, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dj

    I am a young white man. You can't tell me I wouldn't be a target to get robbed or possibly worse walking through an unfamiliar all black neighborhood. The only thing different here is I have no motivation to walk through the unfamiliar all black neighborhood.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • S. Brasfield

      Son its too bad that you think that way. Blacks are not what you have been raised to believe. We wouldnt bother you at all.

      March 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. soulcatcher

    Could this Zimmerman guy actually belong to a gang?

    March 21, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. D. Anders

    Trayvon was more than likely tried to front because he was on the phone with his girlfriend. When someone with a gun tells you to stop, the police are on their way, you should probably shut up and wait for the cops. Zimmerman would have been arrested or ticketed for some offense like holding someone against their will or something and Trayvon could have laughed about getting the white boy in trouble the next day at school. But I think Trayvon probably argued and made the situation worse. Watch an episode of COPS. Even when the cops ARE there these kids resist arrest, taunt officers and do pretty much anything they can in order to make themselves feel superior. Sorry folks, I think Trayvon talked a big game but when it came down to it he couldn't intimidate a bullet.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • S. Brasfield

      dont throw bricks at glass houses D. the same could happen to you.

      March 21, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • DocAvak

      You have a gift D. Anders it's called STUPIDITY and I believe the your gift will climb exponentially! LOL

      March 21, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. I live in Central Florida

    I live about 40 miles from where this happened and I can tell you that I truly believe it is a "racial" situation. If that boy would have been white Zimmerman would be rotting in jail where he should be. I see it everyday. I am a Caucasian female and this situation makes me truly ill. The other comment about this being 2012 is right, Get over your racist ways we all need to live together peacefully. That boy was visiting so if he was looking around it is probably because he was not sure of his surroundings. He was on the phone with his girl.....she heard everything, the Sanford Police Department is probably majority white and they probably thought nothing would ever come of this because again " it is just another black boy dead". The Sheriff needs to be prosecuted for hiding the issue, George Zimmerman needs to rot in hell. I have tattoos and wear hoodies and sneakers and jeans all the time, that is the style, just because you have a hoodie with baggy jeans does not make you a threat to anyone. It is what everyone is wearing young and old alike.

    March 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. S. Brasfield


    March 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Susany

    It's impossible right now to know what really went down, but one thing is clear, this was a child, a young athlete, and he was staying in the neighborhood and had a perfect right to walk down that street. He had no weapon and even if he did make some wise-cracks, there is nothing anyone who is unarmed can say to another who is armed that merits receiving a lethal bullet. This child was in a struggle for his life because he knew the writing was on the wall; an unarmed young African-American male versus a white, gun-wielding racist is bad news. If Zimmerman is still free it's an outrage and my heart goes out to this family of an unfortunate kid who was at the wrong place at the wrong time. May his soul find peace and his family receive the enormous amount of support they are going need to get through this tragedy because they will never get over this as long as they live.

    March 21, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. una amiga

    Zimmerman might as well have worn a white sheet with a stupid pointy hood, he obviously just wanted to "get" one of "them"

    All you racists will be judged by the Almighty, you will wish you had been a victim on this world instead of one of the monsters

    God Bless Trayvon's friends and family, I hope you someday find Peace

    March 21, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janice

      I agree with you! It's funny that; everything black people do is copied by the whole world. Whites thinking their cool and hip by listening to hip hop. They will never be as strong as blacks.

      March 21, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Talk about racist. Everybody ASSUMING the shooter was white. Don't know a hispanice when you see one? You assume that because he has a non-hispanic name that he must be white? Hipocrites.

      March 21, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • greatDayEveryone

      Why does it matter if he's half Hispanic? Does it mean he's not racist? Obviously not. He targeted and killed Trayvon because he was black.

      March 21, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • greatDayEveryone

      I knew he was half Latino. I am also half Latina and I'm disgusted to share a heritage with this monster. Altho I'm proud to be Puerto Rican and Irish!!

      March 21, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
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