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. Aaron

    Charlie is in the bushes.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  2. Coexist

    If you actually read the story, he's not changing stories now. This was his claim shortly after his arrest, according to the news report above.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  3. Angela

    When when he stop lying. If anything Trayvon stood his ground when he didn't know who was following him and for what.... Maybe he wants more money to flow into his account.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  4. dnice

    Release him, give him back his gun (so he'll have a fighting chance), put him back on the streets and let street justice prevail. One fact you can't ignore no matter how demented you are....if he would have stayed in his car like he was instructed by the police dispatcher, none of this would have happened.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      There's lots wrong with what you just said. First, this idea of justice on the streets its obviously misguided since the truth of the story has openly been manipulated by media. THerefore, people would be acting without truth. Second, the police dispatcher was not direct. Saying, 'We don't need you to do that,' is not the same as 'Do Not Do That.' So there technically was no command.

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

      A police dispatcher has ZERO authority to stop a citizen from doing their civic duty.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
    • CJG2590

      You sound so intelligent...@Aaron...a police dispatcher is not a legal authority so even IF Zimmerman continued to folow him this wasn't a crime or against a police order. And for those that 'know' what happened, you came up with that all on your own or your mimicing some reporter who wasn't there either. Geniuses...

      June 21, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • sckc

      Zimmerman followed Martin despite the dispatcher's advice. Even if that wasn't illegal, it was still NEGLIGENT and was the primary reason the shooting happened.

      June 21, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. F U

    Guess zimmerland is more important on CNN headlines, even on the east coast at AM. anything by cnn to deflect hoster holder news

    June 21, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  6. carolae

    Enough is enough....this story has made headline news long enough. When there is something new to report, then call it news. This is the first time I heard of Tray "jumping out of the bushes" unless the story's been dragging on so long that I forgot about it. It boils down to one thing.....his word over a dead person. There were no cameras....no witnesses....just this guys word. If he actually was attacked and it was self defense, then he should be acquitted....end of story.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      What are you talking about? If a black man is killed by anyone other than a black man, it's obviously racially motivated. If the person's name is George, he is obviously white. This really is Mitt Romney's fault.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
    • mbdjr44

      There IS an eyewitness and the eyewitness backs up Zimmerman.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. 2T

    The phone records will show the time the conversation with his girlfriend ended. If that time is close enough to the 911 calls where you hear the screams Zimmerman is toast. And I have the feeling that this will be the case,

    June 21, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      That doesn't quite make sense .... phone calls aren't witnesses. They don't provide visuals of what happened. If there is no recording of the interaction, they prove nothing other than what everyone already knows: that the two did encounter each other. Other than that, time's of cell phone conversations prove nothing.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • CJG2590

      That makes no sense- at all.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Whitney

      According to phone records Trayvon Martin's girlfriend was on the phone with when the thing happened.

      June 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Angela

    When will he stop lying? If anything Trayvon stood his ground when he didn't know who was following him and for what.... Maybe he wants more money to flow into his account.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  9. Name*Anthony

    Well yeah, I'd bang yor head against the concret to if I was profiled, followed and harassed by some wanna be cop trying to shot me!

    June 21, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Who cares

      learn how to spel

      June 21, 2012 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      If you were profiled, someone would have to say "Hey ****"" and call you out by a racist term. Then follow you obviously, and in order to threaten you with a gun, display a firearm. That is the only way you can say you were "Fighting back with someone that profiled you, and followed you with a gun." Zimmerman didn't go up to Trayvon and go "Hey Darky." then whip out his weapon like Robocop and stalk him through the bushes while saying "Come here BOY! HAR HAR HAR!"

      Zimmerman will walk.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
    • mbdjr44

      Would you beat up the bus driver for not letting you ride free too? Would you be robbing houses and when you got caught with the loot and a large screwdriver say you found it on the way to school? Oh yeah and the pot that he had on him when he got caught trying to sell his "loot" at school .... Yeah defend the THUG because you then sound about as intelligent as the dog crap on the bottom of my shoe.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      Apparently, that's how you get shot.

      Not only that, but it truly is in your head if everyone is profiling and following you.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • CJG2590

      Learn proper English, please. If you call yourself an American, it's embarrassing.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. midogs2

    In the interview it appeared he had his story straight................................

    June 21, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  11. crumii

    He said this "in an initial interview with police" according to the 7:50 am version of this article. This is not "changing his story. Maybe you don't know as much as the involved parties, and are just assuming things?

    June 21, 2012 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  12. 2T

    Why hasn't this bush business come out before?

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

      Because he didn't have time to plant it, before the encounter.

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

      Come on man, everything has already been blamed on the Bush(es).

      Haven't you been paying attention – or do you have a tumor?

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

      People are just so tired of hearing everything blamed on Bush.

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

      Zimmerman is a liar, and he has had lots of time to get his "story" together. Zimmerman the stalker/murderer will say and do whatever ti takes to get himself off the hook. By now, he has NO credibility, and if his lips are moving..he's lying!

      June 21, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • guiltybeforetrial

      because the media has already crucified zimmerman and his wife. this case has needlessly got national attention just because martin was black. no chance of justice for zimmerman now.

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

    Keep on making up stories Z, one of them will stick. No matter, 1) you should have kept your gun at home. 2) you should have stayed in the car. 3) you shouldn't keep on tell people that you were some sort of authorized neighborhood watch, when all you wanted to do is have an excuse to use your gun.

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

      Jamjki (or whatever convoluted psudeo-African name you got from yo baby-daddy ....

      You are inspiring me ...

      To carry my gun.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |

      Z's "self-defense defintion: 1) stalk down a vic, and put them into a position to turn on you.

      No, that would be the defining action of the Florida LAW missy.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • At the Beach

      1) He did leave his car. 2) He didn't leave his gun at home. 3) Trayvon shouldn't have attacked him.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  14. To Wannabe Andrew

    "I would have done the same as Trayvon when bein\g stalked by an armed creep in MY neighborhood."

    And we would miss you terribly (note the sarcasm).

    P.S: No tough guy was ever named, "Andrew" ...Andy /snicker

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

      andrew stonewall jackson comes to mind. pretty fast actually.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  15. Norm

    How nice for Zimmerman that Trayvon is no longer able to tell his side of the story.
    Murder is murder.
    Lock this thug up.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11