Orlando, Fla. • Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman re-enacted the fight he had with Trayvon Martin in police video released Thursday, giving his most detailed account yet of what led him to fatally shoot the unarmed black teenager. Zimmerman claims in the video that Martin said “you’re going to die” and reached for Zimmerman’s gun just before the shooting.
The police recording, taken a day after the Feb. 26 shooting, was released by Zimmerman’s attorney, about a week before Zimmerman’s second bond hearing on second-degree murder charges. It was also made public on the heels of unflattering telephone calls capturing Zimmerman and his wife talking in code about using money collected for a defense fund to pay credit cards.
In the video, Zimmerman tells his side of the story to detectives, saying he grabbed his gun from a holster on his waist before Martin could get it, and shot the teenager once in the chest. After firing, Zimmerman said thought he missed because Martin didn’t immediately fall over.
“He sat up and said, ‘You got me. You got me,’ or something like that,” Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman said Martin had been on top of him, slamming his head against the ground and smothering his mouth and nose with his hand and arm. The tape shows two butterfly bandages on the back of Zimmerman’s head and another on his nose. There are red marks on the front of his head.
“It felt like my head was going to explode,” he said.
Zimmerman claims he shot the teen in self-defense, under Florida’s “stand your ground” law.
Martin’s parents have said Zimmerman was the aggressor. They said Martin was walking back from a convenience store through the gated community in Sanford when Zimmerman spotted the black teenager and started following him. They claim their son was racially profiled.
Zimmerman’s father is white and his mother Hispanic.
The parents’ attorney Ben Crump couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Orlando-area defense attorney David Hill, who has no connection to the case, said Zimmerman comes across as “a reasonable guy” in the video and not the zealous “cop-wannabe” that Martin’s parents have portrayed him.
“He came across as being straight-forward,” Hill said after reviewing the video. “It doesn’t hurt him.”
Zimmerman’s second bond hearing will be June 29. His $150,000 bond was revoked earlier this month after prosecutors said Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, misled the court about how much money they had available for bail.
During the hearing, Shellie Zimmerman testified that they had limited funds since she was a fulltime student and Zimmerman wasn’t working. Prosecutors say they had raised about $135,000 from a website set up for his legal defense at the time of the April hearing. Shellie Zimmerman was charged last week with making a false statement.