SANFORD, Fla.(AP/The Blaze) — George Zimmerman says he was not pursuing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin the night the teen was fatally shot. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the teenager’s death.
He made the statement Wednesday in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity.
When asked to explain what he meant when he told a police dispatcher he was following Martin, Zimmerman said he was trying to keep an eye on him to tell police. But he also said Martin was not running:
Zimmerman also gave a detailed description of the scuffled between him and Martin. Zimmerman says very shortly after he got out of his car, Martin was right next to him. Zimmerman says he looked down to try to find his cellphone and when he looked up, Martin punched him and broke his nose. He also reveals Martin tried to "suffocate" him:
He says as the two were struggling, Martin was "cursing, telling me to shut up," and then said “you’re going to die tonight.” He says Martin also reached for the gun that Zimmerman always carries.
Zimmerman says it was his voice that was heard screaming on 911 calls, with absolutely no doubt or hesitance.
"You said at one point he put his hand over your mouth. Do you think that was to silence you from screaming?" Hannity asked.
"Yes, sir. I believe he, from what the investigators told me, he knew that I was talking to the police and I was yelling," Zimmerman replied. "So I believe the police officer was there and they just couldn't find me, so I was yelling in the hopes that they were in the vicinity and they would come when they heard me yelling."
Zimmerman described how he came to realize that the gun "wasn't my gun, wasn't his gun, it was the gun," or the gun that would eventually claim one of their lives:
"He took one hand off my mouth and I felt it going down toward my chest, toward my holster, and I just didn't have any time," Zimmerman said.
In spite of the trauma, Zimmerman also said he wouldn't do anything differently and that he believes the incident was "God's plan." He didn't think it was his place to second guess it.
This motif returned again later on in the interview:
Zimmerman also pointed out that he had no ill feelings toward black people, and in fact had stood up against instances where they were oppressed. Zimmerman cited the case of Sheldon Ware, a black homeless man from his hometown who had been abused by police, and who Zimmerman felt was treated unfairly.
Fox News also released three longer clips of the interview. View them below: