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. Jammaster

    This whack job murders an American teenager just because he is black, the cops don't investigate or make an arrest and the nut jobs come here and make stupid comments defending this guy.
    However had it been one of their relatives murdered by Zimmerman, they'd be crying the blues.

    March 22, 2012 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |

      The Department of Justice website. You all sound CRAZY at the CNN website bragging about your people's hatred towards ALL HISPANICS. This did not need this NATIONAL ATTENTION. The Feds will handle the case irrespective of your need to bragg in the media. Condemn him not ALL HISPANICS. I DON'T WANT TO DIE.

      March 22, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Combatgs

      The police report stated that Zimmermans back was wet and that he was covered in grass. The report also stated that Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose and the back of the head. Was this an erronious statement or did Zimmerman do this to himself to make it look like he was attacked? Seems to me like this affair needs more investigation before we jump to conclusions.

      March 22, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • ScottyB


      March 22, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. susan

    Zimmerman pushed a girlfriend & a cop before this incident & never should have been a watch commander. Besides being a racist killer he's an idiot also. My prayers go out to Treyvon's family & friends. I hope the Justice department can get justice for him also.

    March 22, 2012 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. Missy

    This is so tragic! this man obviously pursued the boy trying to make a name for himself. i'm a white woman in my mid 20s and even i know that this boy was profiled because he was black. any person of any color can see this. zimmerman probably felt like being a hero that day and figured that, even if the boy wasnt doing anything, it would be easy to say he was because 'these people' are always up to no good anyway. and race aside, he was just a freaking kid walking home. zimmerman murdered this young boy as he cried for help and as a mother myself, it makes me sick to my stomach. lock this piece of crap up and let him 'be a hero' and save the day in jail.

    March 22, 2012 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. Veronica

    How is it self defense WITH SKITTLES AGAINST A 9MM HAND GUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT'S A OUTRAGE!

    March 22, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Ron LEE

      Hey George Z., how many neighborhood break ins occur approximately at 7:15 PM ??? most thieves operate much later than that. not saying Treyvon is a thief at all.....enjoy your limited freedom and good luck when you get to prison. I sure the black population will welcome you with open arms....brutal....

      March 22, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Amelia

      This is why people are outrage. Why the killer didnt listen to the dispatcher not to follow Trayvon?? His killing could of been prevented if the killer would off listen to the dispatcher. But like someone said the killer wanted to be a hero and was waiting in his car looking for someone to target.

      March 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mo

    Why is this guy still free and not in jail??!?!?!?!

    March 22, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ana

    One question that I haven't heard asked yet is this: if the 911 dispatcher that Zimmerman spoke with is a police officer, then didn't Zimmerman disobey a police order by following Trayvon, even though Zimmerman was specifically told not to? Wouldn't that be a crime in itself? Can't Zimmerman be arrested for continuing his pursuit after being told not to?

    March 22, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • TANYA

      I totally agree with you. Why did he continue his pursuit after he was told not to?

      March 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amelia

      Exactly Ana!! How the killer is going to say it was self defense when he was told not to follow Trayvon and still went after him. It is obvious that he targeted Trayvon there is no doubt in my mind.

      March 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tyrone

    This is a very complex case but should not be a difficult one to decide once in a court of law. The Castle Law has to do with one's right to defend themselves in their home. The concept of a person being an aggressor and breaking into someone's home for any reason and then the owner having to figure out if they were just going to steal a TV or, instead, cause physical harm to them is why the Castle Laws in many states were enacted. If you break in for any reason prepare to pay the price. The same goes for the for the Stand Your Ground Laws. If you are an aggressor outside of a home why should the victim have to flee from you? That puts the law in favor of the aggressor. The Stand Your Ground Laws give the victim the right to defend themselves even with deadly force if warranted if someone is an aggressive threat outside the home. Clearly these laws have been made because people are getting so tired of the criminals often times having more rights than the victims. They are sort of "We've had enough of this and we're not going to take it anymore" laws.
    Both of these laws are basically Stand Your Ground laws in that a person should have the right to not always have to try to flee an aggressive criminal both in a home and outside. There is nothing even resembling that right under the law in defense of Zimmerman who obviously did a lot more than stand his ground by pursuing Martin even against the 911 operator saying not to do so. He has zero defense in my mind and when brought to court I don't see how a jury could possibly say he did. The only problem I see is that the Martin family has retained a lawyer who may be outdone because of his semi-illiteracy.

    March 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. army.pfc.88m

    whats interesting is that as of 1:48 PM EST March 22, Fox news website ( doesnt have any mention of this event on their front page. The "fair and balanced" mantra of theirs didnt deem it important to cover this news story.

    March 22, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BigDeek

    Idiot guns down an innocent kid and the cops and media try to blame it on a self-defense law. Easy to see what is going on here

    March 22, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. lance

    please tell the people on the show to stop calling him a neighbor watch captain. there was no legal or real neighborhood watch for him to be captain of.

    March 22, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. CWms

    Zimmerman the cold-blooded killer should get the DEATH Penalty.This was a HATE crime and is unconscionable in 2012. I still can't wrap my head around this. My heart goes out to his family and I pray to GOD that Trayvon gets JUSTICE.

    March 22, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. yneemee

    Why doesn't CNN run photos showing Zimmerman as a boy scout or dressed up for Halloween or his prom like they only show Trayvon dresed for a football game or as a baby or – why does CNN and others want to flame racial animus BEFORE the facts are in – why oh why ?

    How about telling us the time of day when this occurred and other FACTS rather than throwing out that a "racial slur" may have been used. Why is OK to use the N word in a song or movie and not on the street – isn't free speech, free speech everwhere – why oh why ?

    And why doesn't CNN and otherrs devote near as much attention to the murder of whites, blacks, hispanics, asians and gays at the hands of blacks as they do when it is at the hands of whites – why oh why ?

    March 22, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sunnyside

      Is that supposed to be a joke? Most crime cases on news programs talk about how a white woman was killed. Do you really think that this case is an example of racial bias against white people? Zimmerman was told to back off, he's not a police officer, just a pretend one. I bet this guy was just sitting in his car waiting to be a hero against a kid armed with skittles.

      March 22, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • sick dog

      sorry to disappoint you Trayvon didn't have any mug shots like your murdering pal

      March 22, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jeff

    Welcome to prison, George Zimmerman. We will all make your visit nice and cozy. You will feel right at home. Now, you actually will be among criminals just the way you wanted it. Enjoy your stay. Oh, and your little theory about self defense. We can see right through it.

    March 22, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Amelia

    George Zimmerman is right now free and able to walk around the streets as if nothing happen. We need to come together and help get justice for Trayvon.

    March 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. L.A. Goffie

    What is a "concerned citizen" doing (don't care if he's neighborhood watch or not) carrying a gun while "on patrol?" The gun culture in this country is completely out of control. We don't need cop-wanna-be's carrying guns. If you have a gun, you will use it. The law will probably protect the shooter in this case-and it's wrong. I don't see this person's intent to protect himself. He called the cops, that should be enough-he's trying to be a hero–and ends up committing manslaughter.

    March 22, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • sick dog

      right now Dallas is training security guards to be their backup. no squat

      March 22, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
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