Sanford police release 911 calls in Trayvon Martin shooting
by Rachel Delinski, Herald Editor
March 17 2012 at 1522 | 18249 views | 62 62 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Zimmerman 911 call

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Please note: Some calls may be disturbing to listeners.



Late Friday Sanford police released eight 911 calls made the evening 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed.

In one particularly chilling call, a man is heard screaming in the background, followed by a by a single gunshot.

The caller states, “I think they’re yelling help. Just send someone quick please.”

After the screams increase in volume, a loud bang is heard.

“There’s gunshots,” the caller said.

The calls begin with George Zimmerman, 28, who was contacting police the evening of Feb. 26 to report a suspicious person.

“Hey we’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood and there’s a real suspicious guy,” he told the operator. “This guy looks like he’s up to no good or on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around looking about.”

Zimmerman, who police have confirmed was in his truck when made the call, watched Martin as he walked through the neighborhood. Zimmerman was the neighborhood watch captain for The Retreat at Twin Lakes.

“He’s just staring – looking at all the houses. Now he’s just staring at me,” said Zimmerman. “Now he’s coming towards me. He’s got his hands in waistband.”

As Zimmerman saw Martin walking in a different direction he stated, “These [explicit], they always get away.”

Zimmerman is heard opening his car door and going after Martin. When the operator confirms Zimmerman is following Martin, he stated, “Ok, we don’t need you to do that.”

After roughly three minutes, the call ends with Zimmerman telling the operator that police can call him when they arrive.

Police Chief Bill Lee stated that after Zimmerman made the call, there is a lapse in witnesses to what occurred. Zimmerman told police once he lost sight of Martin, he returned to his truck. That’s when Martin attacked him, he said.

In several of the 911 calls, neighbors to Zimmerman say they heard a man yelling help and saw two men wrestling.

“There’s someone screaming. I just heard gunshots,” a female caller told the operator.

Callers also told operators it was hard to see outside because it was dark.

One young man who was walking his dog stated he saw two men wrestling, and then heard a gunshot. The man told operators he didn’t see who shot who, as his dog had gotten off the leash at the time.

“The guy’s yelling help and I’m not going outside,” one caller stated. “There’s a black guy and it looks like he’s been shot and he’s dead.”

Each caller stated they could see men with flashlights around Martin’s body as officers arrived.

In particularly lengthy call, one woman describes watching Zimmerman outside her home. She opened her window to hear what was going on outside.

“Oh my God he shot the person. He said he shot the person,” she said. “A guy is raising his hands up. He’s saying he shot a person.”

Police confirmed that Zimmerman surrendered immediately following the shooting. Police did not arrest Zimmerman because they believe he shot Martin in self-defense. Zimmerman also had a concealed weapons license, making it legal for him to carry the weapon.

Since the shooting has occurred, Zimmerman has not returned to the neighborhood. In a letter sent to the Orlando Sentinel last week Zimmerman’s father stated he has received death threats and both have been forced to leave their homes due to the harassment following the shooting.

Family of Martin have long contended that the shooting was not in self-defense and a petition to arrest Zimmerman has garnered more than 250,000 signatures.

Sanford police concluded their investigation and have since forwarded the case to the State Attorney’s Office. On Friday Mayor Jeff Triplett met with U.S. Representative Corrine Brown and both are requesting the U.S. Attorney General conduct an investigation into the case.

Members of the Sanford community continue to hold rallies and meetings with local officials.

The Seminole County Branch of NAACP will hold a town hall meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Allen Chapel Church with Triplett, City Manager Norton Bonaparte Jr. and Police Chief Bill Lee.

In a statement Seminole County Branch President Turner Clayton Jr. said, “It is time for the police department to give an account of its action in this case because we do not agree with this so called self-defense finding.”

Also, Rev. Al Sharpton posted on his Twitter and Facebook page on Saturday morning that he will hold a rally at the First Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church on Thursday at 7 p.m.