Nearly a month after Trayvon Martin’s killing, the account of what occurred the night of the teen’s fatal confrontation with George Zimmerman is getting more complicated. As the public attempts to piece together what really happened on Feb. 26, more details have emerged telling Zimmerman’s side of the story.
According to law enforcement authorities, Zimmerman, who maintained he shot the teen in self-defense, told local police that Martin punched him in the face, climbed on top of him and slammed his head into the sidewalk, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Martin, who was black, was walking back to his father’s house after a trip to the convenience store in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26. George Zimmerman, who was identified by his father as Hispanic, called 911 and told the dispatchers that the teen “looked suspicious.”
Despite being told by a dispatcher not to follow the teen, Zimmerman left his car and approached Martin. Neighbors called 911 to report a scuffle, some cries for help, and gunshots. When police arrived, Zimmerman admitted shooting the unarmed teen. Zimmerman has neither been arrested nor charged.
The case has attracted national attention, with many calling for the shooter’s arrest. But others have come to Zimmerman’s defense, saying he is an “admirable person,”and that safety, not race, was his main concern that evening. Zimmerman’s lawyer has also spoken out against critics who have claimed his client is racist.
There is about a one-minute gap between when Zimmerman made the 911 call and when he came face-to-face with Martin that police say they’re not sure what happened.
According to what Zimmerman told local officers, he lost sight of the teen and was returning to his SUV when Martin approached him and they exchanged words. He said Martin asked if he had a problem, Zimmerman replied no and reached for his cell phone. He then alleges that Martin said “well you do now” and punched him in the nose.
Zimmerman said he then fell to the ground and Martin got on top of him and began slamming his head into the sidewalk. Zimmerman said he began yelling for help.
An individual can be heard screaming on the 911 audio, however, there’s been a dispute amongst witnesses as to whether it was Zimmerman or Martin who was crying for help.
According to authorities, Zimmerman then shot Martin at close range. When the local police arrived at the scene, they found Zimmerman with a bloody nose, swollen lip and lacerations in the back of his head. Although paramedics gave him first aid, he said he did not need to go to the hospital and sought medical treatment the next day.