Video, audio tell George Zimmerman’s account of Trayvon Martin shooting
by Rachel Delinski, Herald Editor
June 25 2012 at 0623 | 4500 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
download George Zimmerman's written statement, Feb. 26
Police interview with George Zimmerman, Feb. 27, 2012
George Zimmerman recorded interview with Sanford Police Feb. 26, Pt. 2

George Zimmerman recorded interview with Sanford Police, Feb. 26, 2012, Pt. 1

George Zimmerman recorded interview with Sanford Police, Feb. 27, 2012

George Zimmerman recorded interview with Sanford Police, Feb. 29, 2012, pt. 2

George Zimmerman recorded interview with Sanford Police, March 25, 2012

George Zimmerman recorded interview with Sanford Police, Feb. 29, 2012, pt. 3

George Zimmerman recorded interview with Sanford Police, March 26, 2012

George Zimmerman recorded interview with Sanford Police, Feb. 29, 2012, pt. 1

George Zimmerman reenacts the incident between he and Trayvon Martin during a ride-along with investigators on Feb. 27, the day after the shooting occurred.
George Zimmerman reenacts the incident between he and Trayvon Martin during a ride-along with investigators on Feb. 27, the day after the shooting occurred.
slideshow
George Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara released key evidence in the shooting case of Trayvon Martin on Wednesday including Zimmerman’s recorded account of the evening of the incident in video and audio, as well as a written statement to Sanford police.

Audio statements include a two-part interview with Sanford police investigators made the night of the shooting, an interview the following day, a three-part interview made three days later on Feb. 29 and two interviews from March, a month later.

Zimmerman’s written account of the evening is also included in the evidence. Videos show a reenactment of the event Zimmerman gave to investigators, as well as a Computerized Voice Stress Analysis test he took on Feb. 27.

Zimmerman faces second-degree murder charges in the shooting of 17-year-old Martin on Feb 26 in The Retreat at Twin Lakes neighborhood – something he claims happened in self-defense. In the evening and days following the shooting Zimmerman granted police several interviews in which he described the incident in its entirety.

In each account Zimmerman describes first seeing Martin as “leisurely walking” in between two houses – behavior he found suspicious in the rainy weather. Zimmerman also explains in nearly every account that the home Martin was in front of had been broken into before.

Martin, who was returning from a trip to a nearby 7-Eleven, continued down the street as Zimmerman said he called the Sanford Police non-emergency line to report a suspicious person.

When describing the scene in his first interview he uses the same phrase he used when speaking to the non-emergency dispatcher earlier in the evening – “These guys always get away.”

Zimmerman told police after he pulled into a parking space at the nearby neighborhood clubhouse Martin approached his car and “circled” the vehicle, then walked onto a second street where he lost sight of him.

“…And then he goes back into the darkness,” he told investigators.

Zimmerman exited his vehicle – not to confront Martin, he said – to find a street sign to give the dispatcher a location for the suspicious person. It’s during this time, he said, he returned to the vehicle when Martin approached him from behind and said, “You got a problem?”

According to Zimmerman he then reached for his phone and said, “No, I don’t have a problem.” Following that statement, he told investigators, Martin punched him in the nose. The struggle escalated from that point, he said.

Falling to the ground, Zimmerman told investigators Martin got on top of him and continued to hit him the face. At some point he also began bashing Zimmerman’s head into a concrete sidewalk.

Zimmerman began to scream.

“I said, ‘Help me! Help me! He’s killing me,’” he told investigators.

At some point, Zimmerman said, Martin also had his hands over his mouth and nose.

That’s when Zimmerman said he tried to slide from underneath Martin, revealing his firearm. He said he felt Martin brush his right side – where the firearm was located – as Martin said, “You’re gonna die tonight.”

“As he banged my head again I just pulled out my firearm and shot him,” Zimmerman told investigators.

Martin’s last words, Zimmerman said, were either “You got me,” or “You got it,” as he backed off, with Zimmerman eventually getting on top of him to hold him down.

He felt he needed to detain Martin, he said, because during the struggle he thought Martin was hitting him with something other than his fists.

Shortly thereafter police arrived and handcuffed Zimmerman, who immediately admitted to the shooting and being in possession of a firearm.

In the State Attorney’s motion to deny Zimmerman’s statements from becoming public Assistant State Attorney Bernie De Le Rionda wrote, “Defendant has provided law enforcement with numerous statements, some of which are contradictory and are inconsistent with the physical evidence and statements of witnesses.”

However, Zimmerman’s story seems to remain fairly consistent throughout several different interviews, despite investigators pressing him on details of the evening.

In one particular interview three investigators listen to Zimmerman’s non-emergency call with him, trying to pinpoint each move he made that evening. Investigators tried to flesh out when and why Zimmerman was in fear for his life during the incident.

Sanford Inv. Chris Serino said, “You basically jumped out of the car to see where he was going.”

“Yes sir,” answered Zimmerman.

“That’s not fear. You know what I mean? That’s one of the problems I have with the whole thing, or I’m gonna have… That’s gonna be a problem.”

When investigators asked Zimmerman what he thought when the dispatcher told him he didn’t have to follow Martin, Zimmerman stated he knew the dispatcher was right, but wanted to give him an accurate address.

The two topics come up again when Zimmerman took a Computerized Voice Stress Analysis and the moderator asked him, “Were you in fear for your life when you shot the guy?” and “Did you confront the guy you shot?” Zimmerman answers no to both questions.

At that time media had only scarcely reported on the shooting, but Serino seems to foresee problems with the case telling Zimmerman, “The court of public opinion is going to beat up on you a lot.”

Zimmerman is currently in the Seminole County jail as he awaits a second bond hearing scheduled for Friday.