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. mm

    Okay...How many lies CAN the Zimmermans tell the court in a few short months?

    Like a defense lawyer friend of mine always said: Reputation and credibility are everything. Once you lose your reputation – you have nothing.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  2. h

    So he slid off of him on to his stomach? How did he pound his head on the sidewalk repeatedly while holding his hand over his mouth and reach for his gun at the same time. He took careful aim to hit him in the heart all the while his head is being pounded. He spoke to him after being shot in the chest while his lungs were filling up with blood. He yelled fifty times for help alot happned in two minutes. Seems like there might be some questions? he jumped form the bushes which are not close to the sidewalk?

    June 21, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  3. Buck

    Zimmerman will walk, and blacks will continue to attack random whites, ransack small businesses, and type in ALL CAPS.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • dnice

      I bet you wouldn't say that around black people, it's easy to be a coward behind a keyboard, of which you obviously are!

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

    Obviously, you hate Floridians.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. mm

    The old "Attack the next armed vigilante community watch guy that walks down that path by jumping out from behind a bush with skittles" defense strategy. Yeah, that one works every time......

    June 21, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Chuckster

      That's the best one I've seen on here!! LMBO!! Off to jail Zimmerman!!

      September 27, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. inphinity9@yahoo.com

    The problem is, Zimmerman was stalking Martin, a juvenile – if u look at it from Martin's point of view. I don't think anyone believes that either person is 100% right here. And there are many glaring inconsistencies in the recently released police report. You can't look at the incident from the point of the physical confrontation because it supports what you want to believe, you have to look at it in its entirety. Martin was going about his business, Zimmerman stalked him because he mistakenly believed he was a criminal and Zimmerman GOT OUT OF HIS CAR despite believing that this person was a criminal and could have been dangerous and being advised by police dispatch not to engage. These are not the actions of someone who was afraid, but someone who was ready and willing to engage in vigilante justice. Now he has to face the consequences.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • James

      Good point.

      June 21, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • NotWhiteGuy

      Trevon was going about his business so far as you know. Bernard Goetz shoots stoner, highschool dropout, thug.

      June 21, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • IgnoranceIsBliss

      "The problem is, Zimmerman was stalking Martin, a juvenile" – This is completely untrue. First, look up the definition of stalking. Second, punching someone in the face repeatedly and smashing their head into the pavement is the problem.

      July 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jim

    I'm not sure if any of you geniuses took the time to actually listen to his statement, but if you had you would have realized something. He claims people were watching, and that he interacted with at least one person. All our arm-chair quarterbacking doesn't matter, the truth should be fairly easy to come by if indeed those people were around. Which, by the way, the police have already all but admitted they were.

    This isn't a person lying with no witnesses. If his story is false it will be obvious, if it's true it will be just as obvious. The end.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jamjki

    Arizona Ice Tea bottles are listed as lethal weapons in Florida.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  9. Sheldon

    To all the imbeciles that sent Zimmerman money... should have just thrown it out in the street. Wifey will have fun spending it.

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

    Man, this guy just can't shutup with the bizarre sound bites, can he? Probably just in time to promote his new donation site on Paypal...code word: "Bush".

    June 21, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • J

      It's a shame people as stupid as you even have the right to vote. That's what needs to be done. We don't need an ID check to vote. We need an IQ test score above ignorant requirement , which would obviously leave you out.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  11. SharryT

    Interesting. This is the first time I heard about Trayvon "jumping out of bushes" and I have been following the story. Zimmerman is just showing pictures of what we already knew, that Trayvon was fighting this unknown stranger, who approached him while he was on the cell phone with his girlfriend. Trayvon had a right to stand his own ground and fight for his own life and Zimmerman just got beat-up and so he used a gun. The truth is he should have left the kid alone-police dispatcher or not! He should have left him alone but because he had a gun, he felt empowered like a police officer and took the law into his own hands. He was not a police officer, he had no right to target that kid-just because he had brown skin and was walking in the rain. You know....people have been known to actually walk in the rain–it happens all the time. He is a liar and proved it more to the world by being even more stupid in lying to the Judge. Interesting how the screams stopped the very second the gun was fired and how annoyed he was when the neighbors asked him what happened. None of his actions that night show that he was this "scared-for-my-life" poor helpless victim. His credibility was destroyed when he and his wife had the nerve to lie to the Judge. The released phone calls show that he had no remorse or sorrow -as a true victim of an accidental shooting would-and even made fun of wearing "his own hoody" when he gets off! None of us was there but his actions since then speak louder than anything. He is a liar.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Galloway

      " Trayvon had a right to stand his own ground and fight for his own life and Zimmerman just got beat-up" <- That's stupid. Zimmerman has a perfect right to not allow himself to be beat up. Zimmerman has a perfect right to defend his life when someone else is clearly trying to take it from him.

      June 21, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |

      Martin was brought to the area by his dad because he was already out of control in his local community.He was well on his way to being another urban statistic which we here about every night on the local news while waiting for the weather.Zimmerman was a "wannbe" who was never going to be.(interesting how all the "preacher mouthpieces" have shut up).His parents whining about Mother's Day and Father's Day when they weren't providing the parenting when he needed it.( well,they got the patent on the Tee Shirts didn't they).

      June 21, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  12. bezerkur

    *yawns* wake me up when its over. What a sham.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  13. Galloway

    George Zimmerman acted in self defense. Are we now supposed to let ourselves be beat up and killed because we are afraid of being called racist if we defend ourselves?

    June 21, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  14. Paul

    This newly released information helps bridge the gap between the phone call and the fatal shooting. My question all along has been "what dialogue provoked the physical confrontation that preceeded the gunshot?". Purely from a legal perspective I don't see how the racial profiling claim or disregard to the dispatcher's instructions to not pursue are relevent to this case. I would think that the only thing that matters is the actual physical confrontation. It seems that those are the facts that will establish the motive to pull the trigger.

    June 21, 2012 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  15. Rich

    George shouldn't play cop...

    June 21, 2012 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
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