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. ya right

    Please! This guys aready said he was following him, then how not he see he went into some bushes?

    June 21, 2012 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. Terry

    So, why were you following him, especially after the 911 Dispatcher told you to stay in your vehicle? Maybe the Matin kid thought you were a pedophile looking to score with a teenager. By the way, you looked very good in the police photos, for someone who claims he got a real butt-whooping from a teenager.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
    • jstanz

      911 dispatcher DID NOT tell him to stay in his vehicle. He told him they didn't need him to follow AFTER he was ALREADY following. To which Z responded "OK". And stopped.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • MostCommentsHereAreEmbarassingToDecentPeople

      wow you are stupid.

      The interview was 24 hours after it happened.

      The little thug attacked the fatter thug and the fatter thug had a gun.

      End of story – now, go find a job.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  3. RST

    If he was not stalking him, never would have happened

    June 21, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  4. 0rangeW3dge

    "jumped out from the bushes."___________because??? he was being stalked, maybe?

    June 21, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mike Gnau

    Let the system work. Unless he hurt himself, he was attacked. Does not matter why he was attacked the law is clear, you can defend yourself.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan586

      Mike this guy attacked the kid first and its that obvious but he killed the only witness

      June 21, 2012 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Mm hmm

      how do u know he was attacked? He could have been the attacker and got hurt when the person he was attacking defended himself

      June 21, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Eddard

      That argument works the other way around too. It could have just as been Trayvon acted in self defense, but ultimately got killed. Zimmerman's self defense claim rests upon his own self-report. With his credibility shot, i don't know if it will stand.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. MostCommentsHereAreEmbarassingToDecentPeople

    How so? One is really not related to the other in terms of fact.

    You should be quiet and merely be thought a fool rather than keep it flapping and remove all doubt.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      I think that would be more applicable to Zimmerman and some of the Right Wing Nut comments I've read. Absolute ignorance by definition

      June 25, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. mique

    What a nice straight line nose he has!

    June 21, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  8. newmac

    Baloney, he lost track of him, get the facts right. How do you know he kept following him??? It's hard to follow someone who is hiding in the bushes

    June 21, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Whitney

      After he jumped out of the bushes? Now I am confused because Zimmerman said he hit him from the behind to he approached me. I highly doubt he was going back to the car and for him reaching for his phone crap well he wasn't he was reaching for his gun

      June 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. DC


    June 21, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  10. Bud

    Zim has been convicted in the press. Sadly, a trial would be a waste of time.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
  11. bob

    "Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic, racially profiled Martin and ignored a 911 dispatcher's advice not to follow him."

    In the real world nobody considers Zimmerman to be white. Is Obama white? No, he's not. When you're part minority the world considers you 100% minority. Also, I thought we were over the race thing. This had nothing to do with race. It's about an overzealous mall cop who wanted to catch a thief. Race didn't even become an issue until the dispatcher asked.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • To Bob

      "Also, I thought we were over the race thing. "

      Really? Why would you think that? Race is still VERY lucrative to black people.

      Beats working for a living I suppose.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
    • kevin

      Martin wasn't a thief. His only "crime" was WWB (Walking While Black).

      June 21, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  12. Andrew

    I would have done the same as Trayvon when bein\g stalked by an armed creep in MY neighborhood. I wish he had brained him completely.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • crumii

      Then you, too, would no longer be with us.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  13. noteabags

    This guy changes his story more than Romney. Did he have an uzi too?

    June 21, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  14. MostCommentsHereAreEmbarassingToDecentPeople

    I hate Summer.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  15. Dan586

    If Trayvon Martin did jump out of the bushes its because he was hiding from Zimmerman who was chasing him with a gun

    June 21, 2012 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      Martin didn't know Zimmerman was packing heat, dude.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Because you were there?

      You should testify since you saw the whole thing. I swear anyone saying "what really happened" other than those that were actually there are fools.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • mbdjr44

      Yeah because Zimmerman was waving his gun around like wild man. The fact is Martin came back looking for a fight and ended up dead. This case wont survive the stand your ground hearing to make it to trial.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
    • crumii

      No, that's a good reason to stay in the bushes. If you didn't know that before, you know it now.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
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