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. This is why I don't watch the News

    It doesn't matter the outcome of this case because the Black Panthers will be all over the news calling this a "Hate Crime" again. But where are they when blacks consistently murder and rob other races? They don't care about that but once a black is attacked, the world has to hear about it. My best friend was murdered 3 years ago by a black teen. We weren't all over the news calling it a hate crime

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

    yes, it is sad. And blown way out of proprtion. I agree- a little dialog could have avoided the whole altercation. too bad we act first and find out later. I do not believe Z should be charged with murder. he had not intention of killing Martin. I think he should have been charged with invol manslaughter.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  3. Whitegirl

    Lies Zimmerman you and your miss piggy lookalike wife

    June 21, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  4. Sam

    More importantly if the wounds happened while he was on his back how come the blood trail runs away from the back of his head towards his ear?!?!? That could only happen if you your facing down. Look closely at the second picture.

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

      His wife lied to the court. She could have easily faked those small patches on the back of his head..while his face was down. Makes sense.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. Tom

    BK grandma read the article. He said he called the 911 operator and she told him he didn't need to do that but he got out to look for MartIn anyway. It was when he was heading back to his truck that Martin jumped out and attacked him. Which has been his consistent story from the beginning. In fact this is the recorsing of his first account of the incident.

    At first like many people I felt Zimmerman was a bad apple, but now I feel that even though Martin didn't start it he was a bad egg.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. mm

    Sure...Trayvon Martin lay in wait behind the bushes with skittles and tea, just waiting for the stray, armed *community watch* vigilante came down the path stalking Trayvon in his OWN neighborhood. "Brilliant" defense for yourself there, Zimmerman...makes sooooo much sense.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  7. Sarah

    By the time Zim gets out of prison, yes he's going down, his wife would have served her time for lying to the judge [smart move] and she'll be in Mexico with the PayPal money.

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

    The authorities are in a bind here... They know murder charges won't stick on Zimmerman, but face riots if he walks. The answer: fire the police chief who tried to step down in the middle of this a couple of months ago, and Zimmerman goes to jail for the money donation shenanigans.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  9. Portland tony

    Here we go again....Same old he said storybook CR*P. Let the friggin' case go to trial ....HUH! Oh, what's that?

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

    If I go to a black neighborhood and get killed people will say "he should have known better. You don't go into those neighborhoods. That's what he gets for being so stupid." But if a black guy goes into a white neighborhood and gets shot then it's a "terrible injustice." Basically it's okay for black people to be violent and murderous but if a white person lives by "hood" rules then something must be done.

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

      So should we be segregated? I Know in a situation like this, the race issue will always come up. But Zimmerman story doesn't add up. He was in his truck when he made the 911 call, the operator told him not to follow the kid, the killing happened in backyard nowhere close to a curve where we can say his truck was parked. He left his truck and followed the kid when advice not to, had a gun on him and he is the victim?

      June 21, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • James

      Here we go again with the "all blacks in America are murderers" crap! What an idiot. Other black people lived in the same complex with Zimmerman AND Trayvon was just walking down the street. He was not doing anything wrong and it was not a bad neighborhood. There are areas in the States that no outsider can walk through-black or white–e. g. Baltimore city at night.

      June 21, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  11. Steve

    Haven't you figured this out yet?
    Zimmerman is guilty until proven guilty.
    The police said there was not enough evidence to arrest him. The result? The DA makes the politically pressured decision to charge Zimmerman. Oh yeah, and the police chief is fired.
    As for the "trial"? There can only be two outcomes.
    1) Guilty verdict and justice is served.
    2) Not guilty and there will be riots, boycotts, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton's face in front of any tv camera they can find.

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

      Meanwhile...the Zimmermans can't go a day without lying to the court or the press.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • dnice

      Well you're certainly right about the "rioting" part.!

      June 21, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. hass

    1. ignored a 911 dispatcher's advice not to follow him. 2. he got out of his car. 2.he wlaked up to martin. 3.he had a gun . 4. he shot him in the chest.

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

      And with all that @hass, some commenters here only care that Trayvon was somehow wrong for fighting Zimmerman, when Zimmerman started it all for his own wrong reasons, motivated by hate.

      June 21, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  13. dnice

    There are a lot of us hoping he does walk so we can dispense our own brand of justice.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  14. inphinity9@yahoo.com

    Where was the blood from the front of Zimmerman's clothes? On the police vids, I don't remember seeing any blood on the front of his clothes. Yet, his statement would have us believe he shot Martin, who was supposedly sitting on top of him and only "sat back" – not knocked off him from force of bullet. Further, he was so nonplussed he holstered his weapon? Never attempted to administer first aid despite having shot someone in the chest and may have injured him worse by "restraining" him. And, had Zimmerman STAYED IN HIS CAR when he first observed Treyvon, none of this would have happened.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  15. leave it alone

    for someone getting their head smashed into the sidewalk, one would think he would have lumps\goose eggs.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • inphinity9@yahoo.com

      Or blood on the front of his clothing from shooting Treyvon while he was on top of him?

      June 21, 2012 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
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