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. Eva Tripplett

    This Zimmerman guy deserves the death penalty!

    March 22, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jessie J

      No he don't. If I start whipping your ass for any reason and you think you are going to die and have a gun what will you do ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? STUPID

      March 22, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • williampenn

      And you were there and saw everything, right, Eva? No need for due process, right?

      March 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rodney

      If this would have been a killing of a white child by a black man Zimmerman would have been arrested that same day. He killed someone not because they were a threat only because he was black.

      March 22, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • sunny

      yes he does death by justice o by an angry mob i dont care

      March 22, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Harry

    I just found out in another news article that Trayvon Martin was expelled from his high school in Miami (that is the reason that he was with his father in Sanford 200 miles north of Miami). I bet, and this is just a hunch because I don't know this, that he wasn't kicked out of school for eating Skittles in class.

    March 22, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Right-O

      That's irrelevant, Harry. Don't try and character assassinate him post mortem. Trayvon is a victim of a Rambo-minded idiot.

      March 22, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charrity

      So school expulsion is grounds for murder? Rightttttt

      March 22, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • sunny

      So because he was exspelled from school he deserved to get shot for doing nothing but walking down the street being black? Zimmerman disobeyed the law when he ran after that boy. The young boy was scared you see people stealing kids all the time if some big strange man came chasing me i would have tried to fight him off too compare the twos sizes. Zimmerman just wanted to feel like he was a cop and took it to far and now he should deal with breaking the law you dont chase someone and then claim self defense it doesnt work like that. You are very igmorant i will pray for you

      March 22, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Harry

    The Sanford Police Chief was forced to step aside because he was the only one with the courage to tell the truth about this incident. For example, he revealed that Zimmerman passed a voice stress test administered by detectives after giving his side of the story. Chief Lee also was critical of Sharpton and Jesse Jackson as having their own "agenda". He also revealed to the public that Martin had "jumped" Zimmerman and punched him in the face, and that Martin had him down on the ground and was smashing his head into the concrete resulting in a laceration to the back of Zimmerman's head.

    March 22, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • CH

      I'm just curious Mr. Harry.. If your son was expelled from school, for what ever reason... And he was out of town with you.. And a black man shot him for no apparent reason.. Mind you, your son was not armed and "dangerous".. And he chased him through the neighborhood.. And killed him.. What would you do? How would you feel..? Would you pat the guy on the back and coddle him.. Give him a thumbs up, and tell him job well done.. For protecting the neighborhood.. Lets set this back in the 1940's.. Would you and your buddies go and pick the black guy up and take justice into your own hands.. Because let me tell you something.. History speaks volumes, and there have been many unjustified murders of black men and women in this country than you can count on your fingers and toes.. Nothing that you say on this commentary section will lead any intelligent and civilized human being to believe that Mr. Zimmerman was a good person, and was doing a service to his community... He is a cold blooded murderer, and I pray that God has mercy on his hateful soul. And as for you sir, I pray that His light shines down on you, and reveals the ugly of this country that your ancestors created, and continues to perpetuate.. That leads to the deaths of innocent young men such as Trayvon Martin.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. Paul Revere

    Um what the hell does any of this have to do with white people??? I see a hispanic guy who appears by the way CNN presents the story, to be way overzealous and a bit of a hothead, having shot a black kid who appears to have not been up to anything wrong, but caught this dimwits attention and picked a fight with him and got shot. WHERE DOES ANDERSON COOPER GET OFF DRAGGING WHITE PEOPLE INTO THIS?? This happens probably 100 times a day across the country between people of all races and yet for some reason this has something to do with a double standard attributed to white people? Anderson Cooper is a total joke.

    March 22, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • CH

      Mr. Revere... In this great nation of ours... What race has been responsible for mentally enslaving, murdering, and raping that has gone without prosecution for 100s of years? When you sweep things under the rug, they have a tendancy to pile up.. And there are a lot of people that try to ignore this country's history.. That's why its an issue.. This country's history has a great deal to do with what is going on right now in 2012... Why don't we create a FB page of the works of your Great Great Great Great Grandfather.. Can we post that on the internet.. Because I'm willng to bet he nor any other man of European decent has spent a day in jail for any murder they have ever committed.. And that sir is justice not served.. Don't assassinate Trayvon's character, unless you are open and willing to drag all of the skeletons out of your families closets, and do some cleaning under those rugs.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jessie J

    Why do you call the shooter a racist ?

    March 22, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    So Zimmerman was on his back getting the crap beat out of him. That's how it looks, no wonder the police did not arrest him. If that's the case, it was self defense, EVEN if Zimmerman never should have been there in the first place. If he had left well enough alone, this this poor kid would be alive.

    March 22, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jessie J

    Why do you call the shooter a racist ? Is it because he is not BLACK ??????????????? You RACIST !!!!!!!

    March 22, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Paul Revere

    Someone find this kid's facebook page and lets see some pics of a 17 yr old Trayvon, not a 12 yr old Trayvon. I am willing to bet that page got taken down or edited real fast. I dunno, someone is following me I go get help if I am scared. I dont attack, not if I am unarmed. This story stinks and CNN is fanning the racial anti-white flames. This case has nothing to do with white people but the figure Zimmerman is close enough. This wouldn't even get a mention on CNN if his last name was Gonzalez or Encarnacion.

    March 22, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrea

      It does not matter how tall, big or old Trayvon Martin was. No on has the right to look at someone and assume they know their intentions or behavior. By your post I can assume you are a bigot but that doesn't mean you are all the time. Now maybe and yesterday but you could evolve by tomorrow. Zimmerman was wrong to approach and follow Trayvon and he is the the teenager is dead.

      March 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chris

    Even if the boy was trying to steal something it does not seem as if anyone's life is in danger. I am white, conservative, and a supporter of the 2nd ammendment. If someone was stealing my car in my driveway and I have the chance to shoot I do not. It is a car, and that is someone's life. If no ones life is in danger you do not shoot. That being said, that is what should be the issue. NOT RACE. Those that are bringing up the issue of race are RACIST. If everything we have been told is true, and these days that is a very big if, Zimmerman should have to pay. Condolences to the very sorry for your loss.

    March 22, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jon

    Why does it matter what color the shooter was? Fifty to one
    hundred black teens are gunned down by other black teens in Central/South Florida
    per year. Why no Al Sharpton, media frenzy or black outrage over those deaths? Don't they

    March 22, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bkh

    Zimmerman was following Trayvon. Trayvon wanted nothing to do with Zimmerman. Zimmerman was calling Trayvon a ass hole with out knowing anything about the kid. This would have never happened if Zimmerman would have not pursued it, The 911 dispatcher told him to back off but no he's to stupid. Zimmerman is guilty as anybody could be. Zimmerman is responsible. If they dont put him in jail he better hide real good.

    March 22, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • sunny

      If this man isnt put in jail what does this say about our justice system? If this was my son his family would be burying him too because in "self defense" i would have shot him too. I hope this monster sees that young boys face everytime he closes his eyes racism still exist not in everyone just in the ignorant people who still walk the earth.

      March 22, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. toby

    every time blacks can't wait for the truth they bring up race. Wish they would bring up race concerning the two English guys gunned down in Sarasota for disrepecting a black killer by walking in his neighborhood

    March 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Treshawn

    The black kid was committing a hate crime on the latino. He got what he deserved.

    March 22, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • sunny

      TRESHAWN Maybe you arent reading what everyone else is. Better yet just dont write anymore your mentally ill im sorry you are not worthy of even commenting on here bye low life

      March 22, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • una amiga

      so....buying skittles is a hate crime?

      Zimmerman won't last a day once he shows his face, the whole country wants to see him suffer a hate crime. They say he's more hated than Bin Laden. And look at what happened to him.

      I'm glad I don't live anywhere near Florida

      March 23, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. toby

    nobody want to defend the black shooter in sarasota. The guys were to drunk to realize when walked into the hood

    March 22, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. illuminatifreemason

    Does Mr. Zimmerman suffer
    from some kinda Paranoia?

    March 22, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
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