June 21st, 2012
07:50 AM ET

George Zimmerman: Trayvon Martin attacked me

New documents, audio and video have been released in the case against George Zimmerman who is charged with the second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin. Below are updates on statements Zimmerman made to police, made public as part of discovery, which have been released by his defense team.

[Updated at 8:14 a.m. ET] Zimmerman told police that at some point during the exchange with Martin he began hitting his head into the sidewalk.

"When he started doing that, I slid into the grass to try to get out from under him ... I'm still yelling for help," Zimmerman told investigators.

Martin, he said, put his hand over Zimmerman's mouth and nose and told him, "You're going to die tonight."

"When I slid, my jacket and my shirt came up, and when he said, 'You're going to die tonight,' I felt his hand go down my side, and I thought he was going for my firearm, so I grabbed it immediately, and as he banged my head again, I just pulled out my firearm and shot him."

When he did, he said Martin, who had been on top of him, fell away and said, "All right. You got it. You got it."

Zimmerman claimed in the interview he was driving to the grocery store February 26 when he saw Martin walking in his neighborhood. He said he pulled over and called a police non-emergency number "to report a suspicious person."

He noted there had been some burglaries in the area, prompting him to start a neighborhood watch program. He said he had never seen Martin before, and thought it was odd that although it was raining, "he was just walking casually, not like he was trying to get out of the rain."

As he spoke to the dispatcher, he said Martin circled his vehicle, but he "lost visual of him" and got out of the vehicle to find him. The dispatcher, he said, told him "we don't need you to do that," and he was heading back to the vehicle when Martin jumped out, asking him, "What the f-'s your problem?"

He said he told Martin, "I don't have a problem," but the youth replied, "Now you have a problem," and attacked him. He said he fell backward after being punched in the nose, and "he was wailing on my head."

Zimmerman told police he yelled for help repeatedly, and heard one man say he was going to call 911.

"I screamed 'Help me' probably 50 times, as loud as I could," he said.

Read Zimmerman's written statement to police (PDF)

[Posted at 7:50 a.m. ET] In an initial interview with police following the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman described a life-and-death struggle that began when the youth "jumped out from the bushes."

Zimmerman said Martin punched him repeatedly in the face. "I started screaming for help. I couldn't see. I couldn't breathe."

He said Martin "grabbed my head and started hitting it in the sidewalk."

The audio of the Zimmerman's first interview with police investigators was made public late Wednesday as part of the discovery items released by his defense team.

Zimmerman, 28, is charged with second-degree murder in Martin's February 26 shooting death. Zimmerman has claimed he shot Martin in self-defense, but Martin's family and civil rights activists from across the country claim that Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic, racially profiled Martin and ignored a 911 dispatcher's advice not to follow him.

Read some of the previous documents in the Zimmerman case

soundoff (267 Responses)
  1. Joel A

    ALL the evidence shows that Trayvon Attacked Zimmerman! Why do you think the State of Florida wouldn't arrest Zimmerman. DUH, Because the state knew that they would never be able to prosecute with such strong EVIDENCE against Trayvon!! Wake UP People!!! Yes, it's an unfortunate situation, but Facts are Facts.
    When any mother and or parent says something like: "oh, my baby would never do that!" or whatever. Parents don't know half of what their kids do, just think about what YOU kept secret from your parents, ahh, see what I mean. But, sure just about any parent would have the same reaction of disbelief, anger and sorrow. BUT you can NEVER know what another person would do at any time, doesn't matter if they are your son, daughter, father or mother.

    September 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chuckster

    The law says "STAND YOUR GROUND" not "HUNT A MAN DOWN"!!!! The bottom line is, the police dispatch told him to stay put till officers arrive, BUT did he?? NNNOOOO, HE went after the kid!! That is not standing your ground, it's hunting someone down!! I know for a fact, that my Son, who wears hoodies, was approached by someone in the dark of night, or even day time, that he didn't know, that tried to grab him, would put up a fight!! Being trained in MMA, yea, I could see Zimmerman with a broken nose, or maybe a broken arm if it was my Son!! Think about it!! If I approached YOU and tried to stop you, what would YOU do?? YOU don't know me from Adam!! I'm quite sure you would try to fight me off!! If you say no you wouldn't, you're a damn lier!! THINK ABOUT IT!!! This makes people that know & understand the "stand your ground" law look bad!! I'm just sayin!!

    September 27, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Chuckster

    Trayvon attacked Zimmerman??............ NO.............Zimmerman hunted Trayvon down and tried to grab him!! Trayvon was just trying to DEFEND himself!! Wake up people!! POLICE DISPATCH told Zimmerman to STAY PUT till OFFICERS arrived to handle the matter, but Zimmerman continued to pursue him after being TOLD not to with remarks of "THEY ALWAYS GET AWAY"!!! This ain't rocket science people!!

    September 27, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Autumn


      What you don't seem to understand is, even if everything you said in your blog post is correct......George Zimmerman was getting his head and face smashed, even if George started the fight.....he was getting his head smashed.....and guess what......George has a legal right to defend himself even if he instigated the whole thing......and guess what......George DID defend himself. End of story. The law is the law, and the jury followed it.
      Moral of the story......don't start fights. Just like we learned in 1st grade!

      July 15, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jonny boy

    We should not give Zimmerman life in prison because we were not there to witness what really happened. He went threw a lot of hate from among the U.S and he probably really is truly sorry.

    November 28, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
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