By MATT GUTMAN (@mattgutmanABC) and SENI TIENABESO (@senijr_abc)
May 18, 2012
A closer look at the witness statements and audio testimony taken in the immediate aftermath Trayvon Martin’s death provides the first insight into George Zimmerman’s behavior after he shot the unarmed teen.
A man listed as witness 13 was one of the first people to approach Zimmerman minutes after the shooting. He saw him bleeding from the back of the head and nose. Zimmerman asked the unidentified man to call his wife for him.
“Let her know what’s happening, been involved in a shooting and will be held for questioning,” the witness told the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. “He was more like, talking like he was having a hard time, looked like he just got his butt whipped … not like he was in shock, not like, ‘I can’t believe I just shot someone,’ but like, ‘Just tell my wife I just shot someone,’ like it was nothing.”
A woman identified as witness 5 walked out of her home after hearing the altercation to find Zimmerman standing over Martin’s body. She said she asked him what was going on and he curtly said just, “Call the police.”
The woman told police that Zimmerman, 28, examined Martin’s body as he slowly paced back and forth when the police arrived. She watched as they checked the teen’s body and turned him over, eventually starting CPR. But he was already dead for five or 10 minutes, she said.
“I do honestly feel that he intended for this kid to die,” witness 5 told investigators. “If you’re in self defense, shoot him in the leg. He’s a 17-year-old, scrawny little kid. You get into a physical fight with him. … I think the kid was running for help.”
Zimmerman is charged with second degree murder for the Feb. 26 killing.
Martin was in Sanford, Fla., while serving a suspension from his Miami school for being caught with an empty marijuana bag. At the time of the shooting, he was staying at the home of his father’s girlfriend. An autopsy found THC, the intoxicating chemical in marijuana, was in his system.
At 7:11 that night, Zimmerman, a member of the area’s neighborhood watch, had called 911 to report a suspicious teenager. Minutes later, the police dispatcher told Zimmerman to stop follwing Martin. Moments later, Zimmerman got out of his car. That’s when the two met and Martin was killed.
Zimmerman has claimed that when he shot the 6-foot, 160-pound teenager he was on his back and Martin was astride him pounding away.
The key problem facing investigators is an 80-second gap between the time Zimmerman hung up with police at 7:15 p.m. and when the first 911 calls from terrified neighbors began flooding in.
A man identified only as witness 6 told investigators that he heard a commotion coming from the walk behind his residence. He witnessed a black male wearing a dark-colored “hoodie” on top of a white or Hispanic male who was yelling for help.
Police said the witness elaborated by saying the black man was mounted on Zimmerman and throwing punches “MMA” style, meaning mixed martial arts style. The witness stated that the man on the ground yelled out for help.
Witness 6 said he was going to call for police when he heard the “pop” of Zimmerman’s gun.
“When I looked down, I saw the person that was on top was laying in my grass in a sprawled position,” witness said. “Saw another guy with his hands in the air, saying, ‘The gun’s on the ground, I shot this guy in self-defense.’”
Police said they believe Martin noticed he was being watched and “was in fact running generally in the direction of where he was staying as a guest of the neighborhood.”
Multiple witnesses and injuries sustained corroborate Zimmerman’s account that he was involved in a serious altercation with Martin, one that police say could have been avoided if he did not leave his car as directed by the 911dispatcher. The investigator said the tragedy was avoidable.
Witness 3 said the timing was terrible.
“I saw the police arrive. And they were literally like 5 seconds too late — like right after the gun went off. Like, they were literally that, that, that short a distance late,” the witness said.