Orlando Sentinel: Zimmerman account that Trayvon decked him "backed up by witnesses"

The Sentinel reports this:


Zimmerman was on his way to the grocery store when he spotted Trayvon walking through his gated community.


Trayvon was visiting his father's fianc?e, who lived there. He had been suspended from school in Miami after being found with an empty marijuana baggie. Miami schools have a zero-tolerance policy for drug possession.


Zimmerman called police and reported a suspicious person, describing Trayvon as black, acting strangely and perhaps on drugs.


Zimmerman got out of his SUV to follow Trayvon on foot. When a dispatch employee asked Zimmerman if he was following the 17-year-old, Zimmerman said yes. The dispatcher told Zimmerman he did not need to do that.


There is about a one-minute gap during which police say they're not sure what happened.


Zimmerman told them he lost sight of Trayvon and was walking back to his SUV when Trayvon approached him from the left rear, and they exchanged words.


Trayvon asked Zimmerman if he had a problem. Zimmerman said no and reached for his cell phone, he told police.


Trayvon then said, "Well, you do now," or something similar and punched Zimmerman in the nose.


Zimmerman fell to the ground and Trayvon got on top of him and began slamming his head into the sidewalk, he told police.


Zimmerman began yelling for help.


Several witnesses heard those cries, and there's been a dispute about who uttered them: Zimmerman or Trayvon.


Lawyers for Trayvon's family say it was Trayvon, but police say their evidence indicates it was Zimmerman.


Per the Sentinel report, "One witness, who has since talked to local television news reporters, told police he saw Zimmerman on the ground with Trayvon on top, pounding him, and was unequivocal that it was Zimmerman who was crying for help."


Zimmerman then shot Trayvon once in the chest from very close range, according to authorities.


When police arrived less than two minutes later, Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose, had a swollen lip and had bloody lacerations to the back of his head.


Paramedics gave him first aid, but he said no to going to the hospital. He got medical care the next day.


There will be a town hall meeting in Sanford tonight at 5 p.m., with both Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson expected to appear.

  • Shanna Gillette

As protests continue today in Sanford and other parts of the country honoring the memory of 17-year-old black youth Trayvon Martin, the Orlando Sentinel is reporting specific details of what George Zimmerman says happened on the night of the shooting and killing, Sunday, February 26.

According to Zimmerman's story as recounted by the Sentinel, "[Zimmerman] had turned around and was walking back to his SUV when Trayvon approached him from behind, the two exchanged words then Trayvon punched him in the nose, sending him to the ground, and began beating him."

The Sentinel also has new information about Trayvon Martin being suspended from school in Miami after being found with an empty marijuana baggie at the time he was in Sanford.

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