Zimmerman describes encounter with Trayvon Martin - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

New video, audio of George Zimmerman's interrogation released

New audio has been released from George Zimmerman's interrogation the night he shot Trayvon Martin. (Source: Seminole County Sheriff) New audio has been released from George Zimmerman's interrogation the night he shot Trayvon Martin. (Source: Seminole County Sheriff)
Trayvon Martin, 17, was killed by a single gunshot wound on Feb. 26. (Source: Jerome Horton/CNN) Trayvon Martin, 17, was killed by a single gunshot wound on Feb. 26. (Source: Jerome Horton/CNN)

SANFORD, FL (RNN) - For the first time, the public can hear George Zimmerman's account of the night he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in his own words.

Authorities have released new video, audio and a written statement in the case against the former neighborhood watch captain, who is facing life in prison for the shooting death of Martin.

In a statement to police, Zimmerman, 28, described seeing Martin walking through his gated neighborhood while driving home from grocery shopping.

The beginning of the 27-minute interrogation video shows the back of Zimmerman's bandaged head while a police technician swabs Zimmerman for evidence.

The police investigator questions Zimmerman in a quiet voice as Zimmerman responds with heavy sighs.

He told police he saw Martin "casually walking in the rain, looking into homes," before calling the police non-emergency number to report a suspicious person.

According to Zimmerman, things started to go awry as he was describing Martin's behavior to a dispatcher. While in his car, Zimmerman said Martin "emerged from the darkness and circled my vehicle."

Things got worse after Zimmerman left his car to find a street name for a dispatcher.

Investigator Chris Serino seemed suspicious of his story in a February 29 interview, while Zimmerman's police call played in the background.

Serino, the lead investigator in the case, made headlines at the end of March when it was revealed he thought Zimmerman should have been charged, but was denied by the attorney general based on a lack of evidence.

Serino pointed out that it seemed odd that the neighborhood watch captain couldn't remember the name of the street he was on, despite the fact the community is relatively small. Zimmerman explained he had a hard time remembering things because of his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The original investigator who interviewed Zimmerman, D. Singleton, also questioned why the call seemed to show Zimmerman getting out of his car to chase Martin, rather than to find the street name.

Serino also said the time between when he said he was going back to his car and when he told investigators he had actually gotten back into his car seemed longer than it had when he got out to allegedly check the street sign.

Zimmerman denied he was pursuing the teen.

He told police he was approached by a confrontational Martin after leaving his car, who asked if Zimmerman had a problem with him. When Zimmerman responded that he didn't, Martin allegedly responded, "You do now."

He said he tried to find his phone to dial 911, but Martin, who is only referred to as "the suspect" in the statement, immediately punched him in the face.

He claimed the 17-year-old told him to "shut the [expletive] up" as he yelled for help and slammed his head repeatedly into the sidewalk.

"My head felt like it was going to explode," he wrote.

However, Serino still seemed skeptical of Zimmerman's story, telling the neighborhood watch captain that it was unusual that he hadn't suffered any skull fractures. He admitted that it was possible Zimmerman had a different reaction to pain than most people.

As the fighting continued, with Zimmerman allegedly trying to slide out from under Martin, he claimed the teen covered his mouth and nose and stopped his breathing.

Serino and Singleton noted in their interview that 911 calls from witnesses didn't seem to indicate a pause long enough to match up with his story.

"At this point I felt the suspect reach for my now exposed firearm and say, 'You're gonna die tonight mother [expletive]," he wrote. "I unholstered my firearm in fear for my life, as he had assumed he was going to kill me, and fired one shot into his torso.

"The suspect sat back, allowing me to sit up and said 'You got me.'"

Zimmerman only fired the single shot before he turned his attention towards getting Martin's hands away from his body. A neighbor offered to call 911, but Zimmerman told him police were on their way.

When officers arrived, Zimmerman admitted to shooting Martin, placed his hands on his head, told them where his firearm was and was placed in the back of a police car.

Zimmerman said he and his neighbor founded their neighborhood watch program in response to rising crime in the area in August 2011.

He was arrested April 11, more than a month after the Feb. 26 shooting.

It was long speculated that he would use Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law as justification for Martin's death, which states a person has no need to retreat when he feels his life is in danger.

His trial date has not been set, but his defense team has indicated they will try to postpone it until 2013.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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