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. TheDood

    All of these opinions from people who weren't there. We all agree the incident is tragic, but we have no clue of what happened.

    March 21, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darlene

      We do know what happened"the white man shot that young black boy!"

      March 22, 2012 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  2. TheDood

    Black people kill black people all of the time in Chicago. Actually, the number goes over 400 people dead a year. I WISH CNN would cover that.

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

      Its about Trayvon right now....Stay on the topic....

      March 21, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Actual Human

      This kid's death is a National Tragedy because all those blacks who shoot someone in Chicago get arrested and go to jail, if they catch them. Zimmerman makes a statement to police and walks away. No black person in Chicago is walking away from a crime scene like this after acknowledging he's the shooter. No white person either - at least not in Chicago. But maybe YOU need to go to Flo-Ri-DUH and live among your "own kind", where you justify the murder of a young unarmed kid with your own paranoid race fantasies.

      March 21, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • MW

      They actually have done stories on that several times.

      March 21, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TheDood

    Black on black crime happens daily in Chicago. I wish CNN would cover the over 400 black people killed or injured a year in Chicago, by black people.

    March 21, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Janice

    Toothless Speed Freaks!!

    March 21, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tom

    I see..............lots of people with no knowledge of what happened making judgement calls. No wonder our society is in such a mess.

    March 21, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ed

    Sounds like a neighborhood watch guy who was untrained probably frustrated about things happening in his community and lacking the proper training in police work and a kid who panicked and ran. Doesn't sound like a deliberate act rather a misunderstanding gone to far. This is what happens when people try to be cops.Tragedy on both sides people should stop judging and looking for revenge. I am pretty sure this guy isn't proud of what happened.

    March 21, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. BrandiE

    This was incredibly tragic, & it seems regardless it shouldn't have ever happened! That young man should still be alive, & at the very least the shooter shouldn't have a gun, & maybe needs mental help, as well as having chased down a child & killed him! He doesn't seem safe to be free! There is something to be said about the 911 calls, in that people did call! There have been so many times when no one called, in this case there were so many, now that's a neighborhood watch. It's amazing that so many called, & I hope more people learn from these neighbors & call if someone needs help, or something is going on. Unfortunately it didn't save this boys life, but it could save others, or help catch those who kill & commit violent crimes!

    March 21, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. toby

    Nobody knows what really happened when the confrontation began. Let the justice department figure it out not Al Sharpton. You know how accurate he is!!!!!

    March 21, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron LEE

      and the justice department is any better than Sharpton??....maybe a little.....especially considering the debaucle of the Casey Anthony case by the prosecution....nice florida.....

      March 22, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |

    why are they posting pictures of this kid when he was 10. He was a 17 year old black man not a 10 year old kid. There is something very wrong with the images CNN is trying to portray

    March 21, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |

    why are they posting pics of this 17 year old man when he was 10. Is there something with the way he looks now? Dont they have any pics of this guy at 17? CNN is playing the race card again and trying to make it look like this guy killed a 10 year old child. Post current pictures CNN and be real.

    March 21, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. The Black Swan

    In the wake of slaughtering handsome teenager Trayvon Martin earlier this year, so-called "neighborhood watchdog" George Zimmerman asserted he killed this child in "self-defense." How is tracking down a 17-year-old boy and slaying him without cause an act of "self-defense?" Several witnesses spoke of a struggle between two males. Obviously, part of this struggle was a boy defending himself against a man 10 years older, 80 pounds heavier, who attacked him while he was talking to his girlfriend. Wouldn't you run if you realized you were being pursued by a big, strange man in the night? Wouldn't you fight to protect yourself if this man assaulted you? Imagine how frightened you would have been if this had happened to you when you were just 17.

    George Zimmerman shot and killed a child without provocation. No doubt, his conscience is eating at him like corrosive acid. Imagine how depleted, dejected, and devasted he must have felt after he realized he killed a boy who was returning home to his father after purchasing candy and "soda pop;" a child who posed no threat to him whatsoever. Zimmerman must be scared out of his wits. Mounting national outrage could lead to his being arrested at any time and charged with murder or manslaughter. He probably breaks out into cold sweats 1,000 times a day. George Zimmerman committed a heinous act. He killed an innocent young boy. In the end, Justice must be served.

    March 21, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. d

    well said brother

    March 21, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. True North

    REGINALD DENNY!!!!!!!!! What would happen to a white person that walked into a predominately black neighborhood, lets say Compton or Watts or Harlem in the middle of the night? Think neighborhood watch would follow them? Or would they just get robbed? Remember Reginald Denny? He was just a white guy driving through town when he got pulled out of his truck and beaten to a pulp.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      i can tell you what happens to a white person who walks down Harlem in the middle of the night nothing happens, ive done it many times, ive also walked down Compton and nothing.

      March 22, 2012 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Jammaster

      TN how many times are you going to post this? Does this justify murdering a young man, just because Reginald Denny was beaten in a riot?
      You STILL need your head examined.

      March 22, 2012 at 3:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Ron LEE

      Are you serious trying to even remotely compare this situation with Denny? We all know Denny isn't the sharpest tack and should have known where he was when a FULL BLOWN RIOT was taking place. Treyvon was simply walking home at the time doing NOTHING wrong being the victim of racism, stupidity, and a unbelievable state law......WOW

      March 22, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. Brahms

    It was Zimmerman screaming.

    March 22, 2012 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. kevin

    This story is heartbreaking!
    Because of the 911 calls and the reports I have read, I do not believe the shotter is a racist. But I will say Zimmerman was a dangerously paranoid man and a stereotyping vigilante.

    If I was sixteen years old, walking home at night, eating candy and talking the phone with a classmate and came to the realization that I was being followed. My mind would have went into servial mode. I would have....

    Stop to see if I can identify the follower..if not...
    Started walking faster....think...
    Look to see if their is a house I can run to or hide behind...
    or try to excape!
    This is a child wrost nightmare...even at sixteen!

    The actions I would have taken are the exact actions Zimmerman desribes to the 911 operator. But through Zimmerman paranoid vigilante prespective, justice needed to be served for a crime that never happened. Trayvon knew his life was in danger before Zimmerman pull out his gun. My prays are for Trayvon's community and family.

    March 22, 2012 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |
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