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. memcats

    What does president Obama has to do with this case, and you can be a racist and not be white. The 911 tapes proves that this guy is guilty his ass needs to be jail period!!!

    March 20, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • James Taylor

      THe kid George Z is white and Hispanic. Many white Hispanics are racist. Who do you think discovered AMerica and brought the very first black slaves into the New World? SPAIN!!! Over 100 yrs before the UK came to the Americas.

      March 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Deedie

    I am heartbroken for this kid's family. Senseless crime. I pray true justice prevails.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Connor

    Alright, the first 911 call from Zimmerman, where it says [Inaudible], go to youtube and listen to it. I don't feel comfortable writing it here.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rob

    He chased him down and shot him - recall what he said, these a holes always get away - ... This guy is going down big time ....

    March 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leslie B.

      If only that were true...but some places have a different concept of "justice" than others. I hope he does get put away, but I won't be betting the rent on it.

      March 21, 2012 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  5. isaiah

    this would suck if it one of my family

    March 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • tonyinsatx

      i can tell you that i really admire the kid's dad. if this was my kid, i'd be the one going to jail!

      March 21, 2012 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  6. NukeTim

    That fellow needs to be sitting in a jail cell, convicted of 1st degree murder.

    He was TOLD not to get involved; yet he chose to involve himself anyway.

    I am shocked that the Police didn't take him into custody on the day he murdered that child. And with his history of violence, he shouldn't be on the street anyway.,

    March 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sarah34565

    Release Tyrone Woodfork, he's a good kid.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. LENA

    Self defense??? why was this guy following the young boy when he was ordered not to follow? What this guy thought he was? a hero? If someone is chasing me I would do the same thing that poor guy maybe did – fight back!. That was not self defense – that was killing someone who was scared. I hope he rots in jail

    March 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • jbrain

      IKR @ lena ..the man said it was self defense ?? what the hell was he smokin that we truely know who was on drugs and runnin around psychotic.....can you say..zimmerman!!

      March 20, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. rajiv

    Officer who wrote the report and his boss both need to be prosecuted….

    March 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. frankbooth

    Layla, so quick to blame this on race... can't you just move forward. Do you really think he shot him because he's black? What if he was white? would you even post? probably not... continue whining and wasting time

    March 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Would he really have been stalking him if he was white?

      March 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cnnsukz

    Funny how people already made up their minds, saying the "kid" was yelling for help when they heard the shot. Funny how zimmerman had a bloody nose and was bleeding from the back of the head and stated he was yelling for help. funny how the media shows a pic of a little boy in a football uniform. Something it's terribly wrong in this country when the media does not report facts, but reports biased and one-sided stories. Funny, because I've seen it before. Someone smells money, and the liberal media smells blood because they've turned into drama and racially motivated "tragedy". cnnsukz.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah34565

      The media always leaves out the facts.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leslie B.

      When Zimmerman pulled out a gun (clearly fearful of a paper cup of beverage as a weapon), there may well have been an altercation resulting in some blood on Zimmerman. But as the kid wasn't armed, how could it have been self-defense?

      March 21, 2012 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
    • tonyinsatx

      funny how Mr Z chased the kid! If you were to try to chase my wife down just to ask her what's she "doing here", God help you because she is going to pull out a pink 9 mm and shoot you! Here in TX we have CC and Castle Law as well and running after someone is percieved as a threat

      March 21, 2012 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
    • TheDood


      March 21, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul Revere

      Exactly, they put up an insidious "mugshot" style picture of Zimmerman, and then plaster a collage of childhood pictures of Martin.....this was my first clue that something was clearly up with this whole story. CNN is easily the most dishonest media outfit on television.

      March 22, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. crowgan

    It seems that Zimmerman was the one yelling "help". When he got in the police care right after the incident he said "i was yelling for help". Unlikley he would make that up considering his emotional state at the time.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Folks are so funny...

      "yeah, this kid got a bullet hole in him somehow, and I'm, like, just Mr. Citizen's Patrol here, trying to help."

      March 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • JD

      Yeah he was yelling help because I am sure the kid was trying to fight him off since he was after him with a gun and all. Black people scare him.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • tonyinsatx

      so you're saying that the kid's dad doesnt recognize his own child's voice? that doesn' t make any sense at all!

      March 21, 2012 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
    • RU Kidding Me

      U Really believe that?

      March 22, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Marcus

    Hey John, guns don't kill people. People kill people. Peopel are killled by cars that are driven by people every day- should we outlaw cars? If guns were banned, only criminals would have guns. Guns have more than one of them is to defend and another one is to deter violence. Leave our Bill of Rights alone and take some fire arm training and learn the law.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Fred Ziffle

    Get Nacey Grace down there so this one can get away too

    March 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rob

    or the kid jumped on him when he caught up with him, hence the wet back .... and was tussling with him and he shot him ..

    March 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim


      March 20, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • BSF

      I would not fault this kid if it is discovered that he fought with this weirdo guy. With all of the pervs out here today...who knows what he thought Zimmerman was thinking of possibly doing to him...following him like that especially since he hadn't done anything wrong! Zimmerman didn't have on any identifying clothing to suggest he was a law officer...that's right he was not...why would Trayvon not defend himself?

      March 23, 2012 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
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