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. Lars

    Don't forget the Medical Examiner said TM was shot at intermediate range. This does not match neat point blank as GM claims. You have no GSR and bullet entry vector is all wrong for the on the ground struggle as claimed.

    June 22, 2012 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  2. Regina Taylor

    Liar Liar Pants on fire!!! Zimmerman is the biggest liar I personally have ever seen in my 56 yrs on this planet!!!Every thing that He claims that Tray said, he said himself, which I felt from the beginning! There is no way that Tray said" Tonight you are going to die", or "You got me"!! give me a break!! No 17 yr old teen talks like that, especially a 17 yr old black teen!!!I also want to know where the bushes were that Tray was hiding behind. I saw 3 ft high hedges, that is all. With all the physical activity that happened, where is the DNA on Tray's hands, or Z's hands!! There was none on either person, nor any of Tray's DNA on the gun!!Z followed Tray, but lied and said he was looking for an address,and there was one right in front of him!! His goose is cooked!!!Hard time 15 to 20 to life!! Bye bye!!!!

    June 22, 2012 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. Unoino

    The bottom line is z did the opposite of what the 911 operaterator told him, my guess is Travon was walking and drinking his ice tea and z thought he was going to be gone before the police came so he pulled his gun on Travon and told him to stop when Travon turned and saw it was this same fool who had been following and stalking him. he probley knew his life was in danger so he might have reached for the gun and they were probley struggling over the gun when z fell back and hit the concret with his head, once Travon is on top of z and z feels he's going to lose controll of the gun he starts screaming for help, he then pulls the trigger and shoots Travon and of course he says he was attacked by Travon. If you listen to his self serving lie twice he makes a slip up and says I. He can't even get his lie stright.

    June 22, 2012 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. Is it just me?

    I never heard of a guy without a gun threating a guy with a gun

    June 22, 2012 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
  5. donnie rrichardson

    First of all if you listen to zimmerman he is hanging himself. if trayvon jumped out of the bushes he wouldve had bush debris all over him. did zimmerman have any concrete debris in his wounds.. is trayvons dna on zimmerman or the gun.. is zimmermans dna on trayvon like blood on trayvons knuckles or hands or clothing... zimmerman racially profiled a black teen.. how many white or hispanic teens did zimmerman call the police about.. how many white or hispanic teens did zimmerman follow.. how many white or hispanic teens did zimmerman kill.. if you dont think this was racially motivated that means you are a racist. he did the devils work and the devils minions are sending him money for a job well done. one thing about working for the devil you pay him with your soul

    June 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mich

    If Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman when Zimmerman shot him, what was there no blood on his shirt when he was videotaped at the police station 40 minutes after the shooting?

    June 23, 2012 at 4:48 am | Report abuse |
  7. Priscilla

    Bck of Z's head looks like a poor makeup job. Priscilla

    June 24, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joe

    Zimmerman's entire story will be his own conviction, the story is obviously customized to narrate a defense so it will be taken apart during the trial by the evidence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    There is a lesson here no matter what!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! George Zimmerman is what NOONE WANTS TO BE, an insecure, defenseless fool running around with a CHL permit. The only thing worse than a CRIMINAL THUG, OR INCOMPETENT OFFICER OF THE LAW. Zimemrman is the worst of both worlds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MENACE TO SOCIETY

    June 25, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ronnie nichols

    look at hole video it show zemmerman lieing

    June 25, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rick

    It's obvious Zimmerman and his wife are not very smart and are lying to save their asses. His only chance of getting off is if the Jury is a majority white as the facts and the law are not on his side. All of the elements have been satisfied for second degree murder or manslaughter. He's admitted to shooting Trayvon, physical act, and you shoot someone in the chest to greiviously harm someone, mental element. Unfortunatly for Zimmerman the "stand your ground defense" doesn't work in ths instance as he was the instigator and self-defense doesn't work because he had a duty to either run away, which he could have done as he was bigger than Trayvon and a 17 year old can not physically beat up a 28 year old unless the 28 year old is letting him, or pull his gun out and say I have a gun and will shoot you. If Trayvon attacked him after that then Zimmerman could shoot him. Unless Trayvon was a world class athelete Zimmerman would have been able to easily constrain Trayvon. If O'Mara is smart he will try for a plea bargain unless there is evidence showing Zimmerman with stiches, that he had a head scan done and that a medical report was made by an independent person, not the family doctor. As someone who has had a serious head injury and over two major head surgeries, I can tell you for a fact Zimmerman went overboard and shot the kid. His life was never in danger, judging from the evidence.

    June 26, 2012 at 2:54 am | Report abuse |
  11. Barbara Dean

    I just saw a report regarding zimmerman taking a lie detector test and passing it. Is it possible the meds he was taking might have some effect on his cool/calm answers. It was earlier reported he was on clonazapan ( Klonapin) which is a antianxiety med and ritalin. These meds also could affect this voice stress result tests. Also, Is it even legal for his to shoot a gun if under the influence of thses meds???

    June 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • george

      I agree that the lie detector test is not worth anything , GZ was allegedly on anti anxiety drugs at the time of the interview. . im surprised that no one has brought that up . I dont know what happened since i wasnt there , but I will tell you all that if a complete stranger stalks me while im walking and minding my own business , if and when he get"s whithin my personal space I would have thrown the first punch too. That is called standing your GROUND !!!!!!!!

      July 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Luce

    !. Trayvon was walking on the street minding his business when George Zimmerman saw and began , without probable cause, to stalk the boy. Why is it ok for him to stalk the boy, and Trayvon not be allowed to confront his stalker. IF, Zimmerman was attacked in self defense by Treayvon, why did Zimmerman lay on the ground and allow a skinny kid to beat him up, while screaming like a little girl. He is too big to be overpowered by a teenager. When the police told him not to continue to follow Trayvon, he continued to stalk Trayvon anyway. I cannot beleive the sytem has blatantly turned the victim into a criminal, and the perpetrator into a victim. Trayvon, with no weapon, bravely stood HIS ground against his stalker......I am so disgusted with the legal system. Trayvon cannot defend himself or rebut Zimmermans self serving statements. I guess if you or I had been walking down that street, stalked by Zimmerman, and he shot us..it would be ok.
    BAH. Zimmerman is a racist, a stalker, a vigilante, a liar, and a murderer.......period.

    June 29, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • keljor

      Assumptions and a vivid imagination but not the facts.

      July 19, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Agence Webdesign - Paris

    Excellent Article! Excellent Blog!

    July 6, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Corey Ware

    Zimmerman's ground was back at his truck, had Trevon approached Zimmerman's truck, and then punched him in the face, and bashed his head etc, etc, then the stand your ground law would work in his favor.
    But as I see it, Trevon was the one standing his ground against a large strange adult male with a gun, who never even tried to identify himself as a neighborhood watchman.

    And by the way, Gz's medical report said that he had two black eyes? there is not one picture of him with black eyes
    and the pics that have been displayed are on the night of the shooting, and the day after, a black eye will
    last for at least a week before it starts to fade. you don't have to be a forensic expert to know that!

    August 10, 2012 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  15. fred

    All you people who hate George are being incited by the news media. I was also angry. But the facts are being twisted..

    For example: Trayvon's girlfriend's story has changed. When this event happened, I heard the girl friend's original testimony on KFI in Los Angeles. Zimmerman's attorney should subpoena that tape. Now, she has added that she could hear Trayvon say, "Get off of me." That was not in her original testimony.

    George is in jail because people tried to start a race riot and the news media skewed the facts. As for George and his wife trying to hide money....with such an unfair legal system....their actions are reasonable. The judge wanted to know how much money they had so he could hike the bail beyond their ability to pay.

    The Harvard professor said that Zimmerman should not have been charged and that the state prosecutor should be charged with perjury. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/06/07/dershowitz-zimmerman-prosecutor-threatened-to-sue-harvard/

    Somebody wanted to create a race riot. Thinking they finally had a white man (which George is NOT) they incited the country (especially blacks).

    Look at all the people who wore hoodies saying, “I am Trayvon.” Some of those people attacked Whiites, while shouting “I am Trayvon.” They hurt innocent people (based on race), people that had nothing to do with the Trayvon situation. George is a mix of white, latino, and black, but only whites have been attacked. Do you really believe every white person deserves retribution? Well...add sunglasses to the hoodies and they'd all look like the una-bomber.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
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