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

FULL STORY
soundoff (267 Responses)
  1. Josh

    I hate how ignorant people can be. They are turning this into a racial issue. Bottom line is he shot that kid in self defense. I dont even want to think of the media circus when hes found not guilty. Lastly, GZ is not white. Stop trying to paint him as a racist white guy with a gun. If he wouldve shot a white person, would it still be a "hate crime"? or another shooting gone unnoticed?

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

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

      June 21, 2012 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
    • soul68

      You can't deliberately escalate a situation to the point of physical confrontation then claim self defense. Thats a load of horse manure.

      If I walk up to you, point a gun in your face, then you pull your gun out to defend yourself and then I shoot you, I cant say I was defending myself because you pulled a gun.

      He deliberately escalated/antagonized the situation even AFTER he was told not to. He has no reason to claim self defense

      June 21, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
    • TO SOUL68

      "If I walk up to you, point a gun in your face, then you pull your gun out to defend yourself and then I shoot you, I cant say I was defending myself because you pulled a gun."

      True, but that is not what happened. What you have built is a straw man.

      It's been done before; watch and learn, before you lose all credibility and the ability to wear big boy pants.

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

      You hate our ignorant people can be? What about yourself? How do you know that Zimmerman didn't attack him first and Travon was defending himself and when Zimmerman starting getting is butt kicked he yelled "self defense."

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

      You're right this is not about about race. it's about a a self appointed "watchman" patrolling a neighborhood with a gun, looking for a reason to fire it. So Josh why is your focus on whether or not Zimmerman is white or not? I think that you are the racist here!

      June 21, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joe

    Bottom line is that only two people where there when it happened, and only one is going to be testifying at the trial because the other one is dead. Zimmerman is going to walk. Everyone who wants to see him fry should start coming to grips with that.

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

      Him and Casey will be hiding out together in some non-disclosed location for the rest of their lives.

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

      I hope you're not on the streets of Sanford if that happens!

      June 21, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Wwells

      Dnice–the only racists here are the black people threatening white people with riots and thuggery if they don't get their way and Zimmerman isn't convicted.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. doc77

    He'd be far better off telling the truth...but then the truth is not very popular these days...

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

      The truth: I bought a gun hoping to use it someday; I believed I was a law enforcement official; I got out of the car to furfill my fantasies.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. F U

    Is this the major story in New York at this time in the morning? You guys are really in need of special ed classes. From the west coast of CA on the beach. Find the story on Holden fools.

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

      Er, check your geography pal. Fla is about 1800 miles south of NYC.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. soul68

    Was this before or after the 911 operator told him not to pursue the teen?

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

      That's a good question! The defense will likely try to shape events from the standpoint of Zimmerman originally sighting this guy 'emerging' from some bushes. They will then build from there.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
    • TO SOUL68

      Just because you think so, dispatchers are not a voice of authority.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Jamjki

      Next week: He was 7 1/2' tall, carrying a howitzer. he came after me with his fangs dripping with the blood of his last victim. I tried to calm him down by singing a (WHITE-Hispantic) song, but he wouldn't stop. His claws grabbed me, lifted me into the air, I reached for a bag of M&Ms to give to him, but he still wouldn't stop. He started spitting fire, his hoodie fell back reaveling horns on his head, he said, "after I tear you apart and eat you, I will swallow the whole of Sanford, then on to Disney World". I said, no, innocent people will suffer. A demonic laugh emerged from the depths of his lungs. "Kill. kill". He said. It was then I knew it was me or him.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  6. bkgrandma

    So after the kid jumped out of the bushes and beat him and pounded his head on the cement, Zummerman called 911 and they told him not to follow Martin? I don't think so! There is a 911 tape so how come he didn't tell them that he had been attacked?

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

      He forgot that in the rush to make up another story.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. Justin

    That's funny.... if people wouldn't have screamed about it in the first place there wouldn't have ever BEEN a trial. Had zimmerman been booked and charged and allowed to have his day in court from the beginning then you would have a leg to stand on.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. Martink

    I knew it, I knew it. I knew the MainStreamMedia would find some way to blame it on the Bushes.

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

      For eight stright years he messed up the country, thank god for Z!

      June 21, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  9. EGB

    If GZ never got out of the car as the dispatcher "suggested" then he wouldn't be in this situation now.

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

      In the persuit of (Florida style) justice nothing should deter the citrizen, especially duly appointed law enforcement, from their objective.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Wwells

      Please listen tot he tape. Zimmerman got out of his vehicle BEFORE the dispatcher suggested he not follow Martin. Even the affidavit of probable cause willfully distorts the sequence of events. Please get the facts straight!

      July 24, 2012 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
  10. JimmyJ

    I'm sorry, let me beat you with a pack of skittles since that would kill a man.......

    June 21, 2012 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. mbdjr44

    This case isn't going to trial. This case dies at the stand your ground hearing.

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

      It should have never been a case. It was an obvious stand your ground self defense case but Jessie and Al got involved and then the buzzards began circuling.

      June 21, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. marjee123

    You know if you look at the back of his head it looks like he just got blood spots on him. Look close you can't see any place where the sking is really broken or scratched.

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

      It doesn't look like that to me. I see broken skin and blood running down his head.

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

      The photos do look odd. They actually look like picked over scabs to me....like small places that have been there 3-5 days have been worked with to produce blood. If these photos were taken the day of or the day after the incident – they are unbelievable...more like something that occurred well before the incident.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
    • gdemo

      You must be blind

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

      Really, he has at least two cuts, very obvious. That really has nothing to do with this anyhow. No one doubts there was a "fight". That is 100% fact. Its the "why" that is the issue. Why did Zimmer stalk this kid after the police said go home? Why did he exit his car if he felt "unsafe"?, why did he bring a gun to a fist fight?, etc, etc.

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

      It's all cool to critisize people and make silly statements – would like to know what YOU woul have done in Zimmermans place? I know for a fact, people will get furious once somebody draws blood on them. I am by no means defending either party, but I have yet to see anything from the trial.

      June 21, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Wwells

      Zimmerman's injuries have been confirmed beyond any reasonable doubt. He had no time to fake them after the struggle with Martin, and the first responders cleaned off the blood. Again – please do not willfully distort the facts.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
  13. mm

    This guy doesn't have a shred of credibility.

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

      Funny. You say the same thing about the family of Brian Terry.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
    • mm

      It's a good thing the mentally-handicapped do not get into jury pools

      June 21, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  14. EGH129

    z will never be convicted, this trayvon seems to me to have been a punk. After the aquittal FREE flat screens for black people!!

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

      lol, thats great

      June 21, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  15. kevin

    Zimmerman followed Martin for a prolonged period, even after 911 dispatch told him not to. Then there was an altercation. Sounds like Martin, who was being pursued by a larger man, stood his ground and was killed for doing so. Zimmerman was the aggressor. He started the incident and didn't back off. He had no reason to follow Martin and confront him, but he did it anyway.

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

      And the moon is made of cheese.
      Any other fantasies you want to share?

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

      TM hit GZ in the back of the head (while GZ's back was to TM) on the initial attack.

      How is that standing your ground?

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

      These assertions of yours have no basis whatsoever in fact.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
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