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. Treshawn

    bkh @6:46pm: Why what are you going to do?

    March 22, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • marie

      Treshawn watch yourself.

      March 22, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. illuminatifreemason

    Mr. Zimmerman appears to have used poor judgement here. My prayers go out to the Martin family! May God give you strength , and wisdom in these difficult times.

    March 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rico

    "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."
    Lol CNN keeps showing pictures of this Travon kid when he was like 9 years old. Try showing a current picture of the 6 foot 3, 17 year old that he was. by the way, it was Zimmerman yelling for help as Trayvon beat the crud out of him. Case closed. Stop with the race baiting CNN and to those of you worked up, wait for the facts to come out next time.

    "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."

    March 22, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nathan Harris

      Thank you! I was waiting for someone with a clear head and common sense to post the truth. It's all leftist media trying to push gun control and looking for hype for catchy headlines. The only person who should be outraged is George Zimmerman whom the media is painting as a trigger-happy racist with no conscience. The media should be ashamed of themselves. They have no problem trying to ruin a persons life just to advance their own agenda. Any fool can tell from the evidence that George was brutally and senselessly attacked and he was justified in doing the tragic deed that unfortunately was required.

      March 22, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • marie

      Rico, I'm not playing the race card, which you are. It don't matter what color the person was. They should be charge for killing that innocent child. Did you here the tape he followed that child. So quit with all that bull crap.

      March 22, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • erik

      He's not dumb he studied criminal justice.. I'm sure he was rattling off 5000 things to say in his head to cover his ass. You sound like an idiot to close it so dismissively bc what, he may have been 6'3 does that mean he's suppose to be murdered? Really, zimmerman was told to stay in the car.. obviously you forgot that part or that he left his car weapon in hand. Wanna be cop. You here the kid yelling for help, zimmerman shot him to shut him up.

      March 22, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tiara

      Rico, you dont know what you are talking and anyways that guy could have lied and made it look like it was him that was attack and said he was yelling when really it was Trayvon that was yelling for help. That young man wasnt bothering no one that man followed him. so you need to shut up sir and look at your facts first before you take sides because according to the witnesses and the facts and the 911 calls Zimmerman was in the wrong and he need to be behind bars forever. So you need to think about who was right and who was wrong in this and ZIMMERMAN WAS WRONG!!!!!!! so get over yourself.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Good comment. It's not easy for most people to see through the confusion the media gernerates to exam other points of view.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marilyn

      @Rico, Looks like to me that trevon was protecting himself . Zimmerman was the one who got out of his car and followed this young man. He is not a police officer so who the hell was he to ask what he was doing there. He should have only observed and reported. He crossed the line when he followed this young kid. He just so happened to have a gun and shot and killed this young man after he realized he had gotten in over his head. Zimmerman is a coward, and murderer. He was overzealous. The truth will come out.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Robert

    Protest are being planned for protests in 100 cities this weekend. Guns are being sold faster than they can be manufactured. Will this weekend be the start of the race war the new media has been agigating for?

    March 22, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. marie

    Trashawn@ be careful what you say.

    March 22, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. marie

    We fighting against each other, let each race like black and hispanics kill each other. We don't get justice but let a black or hispanic kill a caucasian we are out of there justice wil be served. So all this plotting and fight against each other is just unnecessary is just stupid and a set up. Don't matter what color I love everyone as a person not the color of you skin and background. I have a son Trayvon age and it hurt like hell. Florida wouldn't have to unturn that law because when I get done with someone hurts mines they be making a new law. Not to hurt somebody so bad. I got pray because Im outrage of these sick ass people messing with our children. Zimmerman has a background of domestic violence against his girlfriend, maybe because his girl may have slipped with a black man. Think about seen this before,. Zimmerman is wrong! I pray for the Martin family and Zimmerman and his family.

    March 22, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • naomi thompson

      I agree

      March 22, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • A.J.

      and how do you know whos right and whos wrong? have u been there or what?

      March 23, 2012 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. Diane

    i'm curious as to why police are painting Zimmerman as the victim of a beating at the hands of Trayvon. In the transcripts of the 911 calls, one caller clearly says the man in the white t-shirt is on top of the other person. Doesn't sound like Trayvon was hurting Mr Zimmerman too badly.

    March 22, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Letisha

    This is a very sad situation. I just read all the 911 calls, and was just like wow. The boy started running because zimmerman was following him, and trayvon friend girl was a witness to that, because she told him to run. I believe that trayvon was innocent, trying to make it to his destination, and zimmerman is out of his mind. Black people are always being looked upon as dangerous, thugs, thieves, and thats not always the case, like this case. And now another innocent black kid is dead for just fitting the pictured image of how the world see black males especially. Dead for no reason.....huh!!! Very Sad!! I will keep the family in my prayers!!!

    March 22, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |

    Zimmerman was completely at fault for what happened. REGARDLESS of race... Zimmerman STALKED this child. He was told to stay where he was at, and the police would handle it. Could you imagine what must have been going thru Trayvon's head at the time??? It's dark, raining, and a weird guy is following him. He is confronted by Zimmerman.. a guy that has already tried and convicted him as being a drug using burglar.. Zimmerman grabs him to do a citizens arrest.. Trayvon fights to get away from this crazed man.. Trayvon is DEFENDING himself.. then BANG. This beautiful childs life is ended. Zimmerman walks away with the excuse " I was defending myself".. BULL.. It was Trayvon that was trying to defend himself and Zimmerman was the "drug crazed madman" . Lock this idiot up and toss the key. He is a cold blooded murderer.

    March 23, 2012 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. eleen mallette


    March 23, 2012 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. 2012

    It's not a "hoodie". It is a sweatshirt, and kids have been wearing them for decades. Long before hip hop culture and college students embraced them as everyday clothing.

    Zimmerman followed, attacked, then murdered a child and was not arrested. Take race, gun laws, and politics, completely out of it. What you have left is a cold blooded murder of an innocent victim. Elevating this to a Federal crime should be a formality at best.

    March 23, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. Cheryl

    This is truly an outrage and beyond; this man chased down this young man, he had it set in his mind of what he was about to do; he left his home with a gun; chased the young man down; and shot him. Case closed..............He needs to be arrested and tried and placed in jail. If it was the other way around the young man would be up under the jail.
    Justice needs to be done and if it can't be handled by the county authorities then call someone else in to do the job and replace the Police Chief with one with a back bone!!!

    March 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jon

    I am glad to see such spirited discussion on the matter. However, I am surprised by how many of these posts are so poorly written that I have a hard time understanding the point the poster is trying to make. Perhaps when dealing with such a hot topic, it would be best if people from either side took a moment to gather information and deliver it in a way that benefits both sides. You know, like a real debate and not something that looks like a teenage Facebook thread. People may be more willing to listen and consider a point of view if it makes sense. Thank you for considering my point of view on that matter.
    In regards to the shooting: The size, age, race or any other detail is clearly insignificant when compared to the FACT that the shooter pursued the victim (as evidenced by the 911 call). If Mr. Zimmerman was beaten by the deceased, he deserved it for chasing a large man who he thought might be armed. Mr. Zimmerman is lucky he did not get both beaten and shot. Instead, he has to live the rest of his life knowing that his overreaction cost an innocent life.

    March 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Marilyn

    @Nathan Zimmerman was in is car where was the threat? If this young kid was approaching him how did Zimmerman end up following him? Where is the threat? Zimmerman is a lie. It was not him yelling for help he had a gun stupid.

    March 23, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. fred

    Who really cares about the boy who was killed! Whats sad is the media and all the leftist out there trying to make more out of it than it is! Its not about the poor boy that was shot! Its not about whether hes black! Only the black brings up the racist comments!

    March 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
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