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. SharonMaeT

    Trayvon Martin was killed because he was a black male, walking in the rain and talking on his cell phone. He was not committing a crime. He did not approach Zimmerman first and "start something"! He was just minding his own business.

    Are black/brown people supposed to just let any crazed person-acting on a stereotype instead of facts- attack them for no reason and not try to fight for their lives?

    June 21, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      I'm sorry but, what if he wasn't attacked? You're assuming something rather extreme with absolutely zero evidence. I get that the only other person who knows what happened start to finish is dead, but that doesn't mean that everything automatically happened the way you want it to have happened in your mind.

      This is all so insane because it's honestly quite likely the police have a good amount of evidence, which will all be available to us once the trial goes on. I really think people just want to riot, and want to use these two as an excuse. It's really ridiculous. Fact is if he's guilty he'll likely be convicted, and if he's innocent he'll probably be acquitted. Get yourselves together and think like rational members of a civilized society. People on here are threatening to murder Zimmerman if he's released, which by the way is illegal and extremely ironic given the moral debate taking place around this case and stand your ground.

      When exactly is your life threatened and do you have the right to respond in force? Is it when they look at you funny, or is it after they threaten to kill you on CNN.com comments?

      June 21, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. bdert

    Why would anyone believe anything of a guy who through recorded phone conversations made a deliberate attempt to obscure his financial standing for the purpose of receiving a reduced bond. A guy who uses funds raised for his defense to pay off credit card bills. Joke!!

    June 21, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. DonnainTexas

    There is no way he could have hid in the bushes. Those things are up against the wall between the condos.

    June 21, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  4. Sean

    Umm yea. You and your fat wife enjoy prison Zimmy.

    June 21, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  5. SharonMaeT

    It is completely moronic to believe that just because of some pictures of bruises -when we already knew that there was a fight- that suddenly racial profiling (which Zimmerman's over 100 calls to police about brown skinned people and even a seven year old child) and the fact that Zimmerman was instructed not to pursue-are not relevant?
    If he had just did what he was instructed to do and instructed to do as a neighborhood watch volunteer in general-none of this would have happened.

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

    There were mistakes made from both. Its to bad the young man died as a result. Where is Al Sharpton at as black gangs are killing themselves off over a street corner. There are far more atrocites going on worse then this. If Zimmerman was black we would even be here. Just admit it, its about race and ratings and a excuse once again to make the white population feel guity of conditions before 64. Sorry but that story is worn out. So over this crybaby crap.

    June 21, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. Saved Us Tax Money

    Trayvon the thug paid the price for his Thuggery. Thank you George Zimmerman.

    June 21, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • SharonMaeT

      and if Trayvon was the shooter of an "imperfect- kid- Zimmerman" who was just walking down the street, would you thank Trayvon too?

      June 21, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. booyah

    Having now watched how Zimmerman explains being beaten almost into unconciousnes and then how he was amazingly able to beat Trayvon to his firearm I am fully convinced this piece of work is lying through his teeth.

    I now believe that he had his gun out already and the was over the gun. Zimmerman has no credibility whatsoever in my eyes, and furthermore, the idiot attempt to hide the money by speaking in code during the jailhouse recordings shows how dumb he thinks the cops are.

    June 21, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  9. A1

    Where in the article does it say Zimmerman was on the phone at the time Martin jumped out if the bushes? Don't you think the dispatch transcript would have recorded the scuffle if that were the case? The facts suggest he was off the phone when he returned to the car.

    June 21, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mom1

    Zimmerman SHOULD NOT HAVE GOT OUT OF HIS CAR. He should not have pursued someone that he claimed caused him to fear for his life, even though he was the one with the gun. Trayvon fought for his life as well, so there should be injuries. Unfortunately, we will never know the whole truth, just Zimmerman's CYA version. By the way his spray tan for his court appearance was great.

    June 21, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  11. SharonMaeT

    What? Who are "they"??? You mean the stereotypical idea of "Every-person-with-brown-skin-is-looking- to-kill-you" at all times!
    Trayvon was not "looking funny" at Zimmerman. He was walking away and minding his own business.
    That is a bunch of crap. The media has been trained to show the negative ONLY of minorities for years on TV so that white America can be kept in fear and then controlled. Police have said that more white people get into trouble but have the means and connections to make bail and keep it out of the News!

    Not all minorities are thinking about killing a white person when they are just walking down the street and they are not all GUILTY BY ASSOCIATION OF SKIN COLOR.

    So you would shoot someone just because they looked at you funny? Then you are just as crazy as the nutcases who post about murdering Zimmerman on CNN.

    Should we all carry guns since there are nutcases in every race and not just what you are *selectively* shown while waiting for the weather?

    June 21, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      everything you said, till the last paragraph is crap. But to answer your question, YES! I carry a gun.

      June 21, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. DonnainTexas

    go watch the video, in that one he says Martin attacked him from the front...he will definitely do the time

    June 21, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Elbonian

      I agree with you. Also, remember Travon's girlfriend testified about what she heard as Zimmerman approached Trayvon so there is definitely a very different story out there other than the CYA story that Zimmerman is telling.

      June 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. James

    Zimmerman lied to the Judge along with his wife. Just terrible!

    The pictures don't change anything. Means nothing. Just more CYA to help his side. There was a fight so there would be injuries and cuts.

    Show us something that we don't know...

    June 21, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. alligurl4

    Um how do one speak so casually after being shot in the heart? That's a lot of words for someone to speak when their heart no longer works. Plus in the audio Zimmerman says he sees Marin running away and then goes after him. Not that he was nearer to the truck. I have no doubt that kid tried to beat him up.I would too if I saw some creepy stranger watc and then chase me. It's called fight or flight.

    June 21, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. Big C

    I truly believe if the races were reversed NO ONE would care ! The only other one that could testify here is DEAD. Yes Zimmerman and his wife Lied about their money that they Did not have before this happened. I believe it happened just the way George described it to police. Face it Treyvon was headed down the path of thug-a-tre having bee in trouble for drugs and was mad that someone was stalking him and lashed out. Who wouldnt have done that.

    I really hope that there is a surprise wittness that can" seal the deal "so to speak one way or the other.

    June 21, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
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