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. como1

    It contnues to appear that there is considerable doubt that Zimmerman committed murder, but rather defended himself against a larger aggressor. With diliberate tape editing by the liberal press, omitting Zimmerman's injuries from early reporting and the hype from Sharpton and Jackson; and death threats to the Zimmermans no wonder he was hiding. Oh and lets not forget the dead or alive bounty offered by the "New Black Panthers" for Zimmerman.

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

      Coroner's report: T. Martin 5'11" and 158 pounds.

      June 21, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CLK55AMG

    So the kid jumped out of the bushes while carrying an iced tea and talking on his cell phone? And while Zimmerman was following him the whole time?

    Zimmerman lost any possible credibility after it was discovered he shifted funds out his account and lied to the judge about it.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. chilly g

    i dont believe zimmerman story and he must face justice and do his thirty to life in the big house.

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

    If he was not attacked by Martin how did those wonds get on the back of his head? I believe his story. this is not what was orginally played out in the media. This man did not attack Martin- it is the other way around. Martin's parents are playing the racial issue on this and they are wrong.

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

    They both blew it. All Zimmerman had to say was "I'm a member of the neighborhood watch. What are you doing walking around here?". All Trayvon had to do was say "Hey man, I live right over there. I'm just chatting with my baby and drinking my tea". Communication lacked, and therefore a very awful thing happened. That's my guess at least. They were truly both at fault. I mean, Zimmerman's head was obviously jacked against concrete. Hate to say it, but um, that can actually kill you or do an incredible amount of damage. Ever hear of people dying from blunt force trauma? Anyways, it's just sad all the way around.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. Bill

    If someone starts trailing me and looking like he's minding MY business, I'll ask the same question Trayvon did and take him down! Zman was looking for something/someone to mess with and he found it despite being told not to persue. These neighborhood watch guys are mostly wanabee kops and have emotional needs being met by pretending to be somebody in authority.

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

    If someone was following me in a vehicle and got out and start following me on foot, I would also stand my ground, hold them down, and beat the crap out of them.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jamie

    What evidence do you speak of Rascal Rabble is wrong?

    June 21, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. real american

    when the crime of trayvon beating Zimmy 1st came out–it was suggested that martin was was involved in a gang initiation and he lost–this story disappeared almost as fast-interesting !

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

      ...as rumors tend to do.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  10. mm

    Just let this guy keep on talking. He's convicting himself.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  11. ZombieHunter2012

    One less skittle eating, tea drinking thug wannabe!

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

    Was the fatal bullet found? I understand it passed through Travon Martin's body. Did anyone look for the bullet in the ground under Martin's body?

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

    Trayvon is black. Therefore he is innocent. See? I'm not a racist. Be my friend.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. Brittani D

    Okay I first want to say to all the racist people who are commenting for attention or you may really be that stupid but I am not to judge, may God bless you all and help you all to have peace in your lives. Now on about this story why did it take so long to release this was important. 1. Because how can the call to the police say he is running and u hear zim going after him losing his breath and then you say he jumped out of the bushes. Lol 2ndly if he wouldve stayed at home none of this wouldve happened. Even though by law he didnt have to listen to dis patch he should have. 3rd if they are doing all this lying and these stories are contradicting each other why is it taking so long. They gave a woman 20 for shooting in the air and they are letting a murderer get away. But God is the last and highest judge and justice will be served.

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

    GTFOH......is his name really George Zimmerman? If you asked him what color the sky is he would tell you red.

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