Parents Seek Justice For Unarmed Son’s Killing

ORLANDO (CBSMiami/AP) — The family of a Miami teenager who was fatally shot after an encounter with a neighborhood watch leader in Sanford, is seeking answers about the death of their son.

After getting few answers from police, Trayvon Martin’s grieving family has hired an attorney and is publicizing his death on national media outlets.

Earlier this week, they asked the Sanford police department investigating the death to release 911 tapes that may help explain how the young man died.

Trayvon “Trey” Martin, 17, lived in Miami. He loved horses, and dreamed of becoming a pilot.

The high school junior was visiting relatives last month when he was shot and killed inside a gated subdivision of town homes while visiting his father and soon-to-be-stepmother at their home in a gated community in the Orlando suburb of Sanford.

He had gone to a convenience store to buy some Skittles candy and was returning home when he was confronted by an armed man who was head of the local neighborhood watch, family members said.

Around 7:00 p.m. on February 26, Martin was walking back from a 7-Eleven a half-mile away where he had bought an iced tea and a bag of Skittles.

At 7:17 p.m., 26 year-old George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch member, called police to report a suspicious person inside the gated community. A dispatcher told Zimmerman police were on the way and to let them handle it.

Just two minutes later, six neighbors dialed 911 to report a fight – and then a gunshot.

Trey Martin, shot once in the chest, lay dead on a walkway just 70 yards from the home where he was staying. He was unarmed.

“He was up here to relax. He wasn’t up here to return home in a body bag. That’s the part that tears me up,” said his father. “And for me not to be able to save his life is hard.”

Sanford Police have questioned Zimmerman, but not charged him. He had a legal permit to carry his concealed weapon, a 9-mm handgun.

For now, he’s a free man who maintains he acted in self-defense.

Zimmerman has admitted to shooting Martin, according to police.

Sanford Police chief Bill Lee confirms that Zimmerman was armed and Martin was not.

Lee says no one saw how or why the fight began, and that police are trying to establish whether Zimmerman did act in self-defense.

Tracy Martin says if anyone was trying to defend himself, it was his son.

“Why would he attack this guy?” asks the father. “He don’t know this guy. What was he going to do — attack him with a pack of skittles?”

Lee says he understands Martin’s frustration.

“It’s their 17-year-old son. I have a 16-year-old son and I couldn’t imagine experiencing what they’re experiencing,” Lee said.

George Zimmerman is a college student majoring in criminal justice. Neighbors and police say he has lived somewhere else since the shooting. Tracy Martin wants Zimmerman to face a jury for killing Trey.

“My kid went to the morgue and this guy went home to sleep in his bed,” Martin said. “There’s no justice in that.”

The 911 tapes haven’t been released because it has critical information and detectives don’t want it to influence the testimony of prospective witnesses, the police chief said.

Martin, who lived with his mother in Miami, was a junior at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School. He was in the middle of serving a one-week suspension from the school. Tracy Martin would not discuss his son’s suspension, but said he took Trayvon to the Central Florida town, best known as the auto train stop closest to Orlando, “to disconnect and get his priorities straight.”

Lee said the neighborhood watch, which works directly with police, started two months ago after the community was hit with several property crimes. Zimmerman was the leader.

“We encourage residents to report any suspicious activity, to not to put it in their own hands,’’ said Lee. “What happened is a tragedy.”

Trayvon Martin’s funeral was held March 3 in Miami. More than 1,000 people, including classmates and friends, showed up at his viewing.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • bo

    Mr Scott it is time to do away with this law saying anyone can have a concealed weapons permit. The only ones who should be authorized to use concealed weapons are the military and law enforcment. This kind of thing will go on until the law is changed. What will we tell the kids growing up in the state of Florida who are different from each other. That it is alright to kill someone cause their skin is different

    • joel

      sycos with guns are all the same sycos with guns

  • clo56

    Mr Zimmerman will eventually be charged. Probably with second degree murder. He has admitted to shooting the boy and it is well known now that the boy was unarmed. If this guy isnt charged and put away, every idiot out there with CWP’s will start killing anyone for no reason at all. I say arrest him soon before this becomes a national issue. What is the Police waiting for? Why isnt Zimmerman in jail? If this was a latino or another black man they’d be behind bars.

    • gw

      “If this was a latino or another black man they’d be behind bars.”

      uh, ace…. zimmerman IS a latino. race-bait much?

  • bo

    there will be no justice in the state of florida until people attitudes change for one another. We have the same blood and heart but different backgrounds. this country not only the state of florida is going to hell

  • flagler boy

    just some inside info from someone who has been there

    if he was suspended for a week it means: “student’s presence in school presents a physical danger to the student or others”

    it is sad any way you look at it

    • justtalkin

      Flagler boy, so are you saying because he was suspended from school he deserved to be shot dead outside his home. Please!!!!!!!!!

    • Moore

      It doesn’t matter why he was suspended. When Zimmermann called the police, they said they would handle it. Zimmermann should have done what he was instructed to do and this young man would still be alive. He was 17 and didn’t deserve to die.

  • me

    This is wrong i know people are tired of crimes in Fl but why didn’t he let cops handle it.

  • abootnkiki

    suspended from school and sent somewhere else for someone else to try and straighten him out;sent to a gated community where people are trying to live a good life and they bring their thug son to live within that community;like the guy who shot him new that he was a trouble maker? what a coincidence

    • justtalkin

      Please read this young mans history. When he was 9 he pulled his father from a burning home, risking his life to save another. Reports show he was a good student. He was never arrested or in trouble with the law. He was not a thug and you should be ashamed of your self.

    • Moore

      The guy that shot him was a trouble maker. He shot an unarmed man, who was only walking to his father’s. He wasn’t bothering anyone. He was shot only TWO MINUTES after Zimmermann called the police. I believe he shot first and asked questions later.

      • abootnkiki

        what u believe and what u may know are 2 different things; no one knows what the teen thug was doing ; and by the way maybe they should have not send him on a vacation after his suspension;and not all teens get into trouble or suspended,only the bad ones

    • Moore

      What’s the crime in buying Skittles!? Again, It doesn’t matter why he was suspended. When Zimmermann called the police, they said they would handle it. Zimmermann should have done what he was instructed to do and this young man would still be alive. He was 17 and didn’t deserve to die. Teens get themselves into trouble all the time. So should we shoot them all? I would say not!

  • FlaRes

    It is tragic. However, Zimmerman was going to the store and saw Martin walking behind some townhomes. Mr Zimmerman got out of his car to look for a house number. However, suddenly Mr. Martin, a six foot tall ‘child’. attacked him, Mr Zimmerman was punched in the face so hard it broke his nose and knocked him to the concrete. Mr Martin continued the attack while numerous people heard him yelling for help and called 911. As Mr. Margin was banging Mr Zimmerman’s head on the concrete what do you expect Mr. zimmerman to do ????

    • justtalkin

      Do you believe the readers are idiots? The young child Martin attacked Zimmerman because he got out of his car. That’s it!! This child just attacked people for getting out of their cars? YOU WITNESSED THIS, RIGHT?!!!!! Please stop!

  • FlaRes

    There is clearly a reason Mr Zimmermann has not been arrested – he did nothing illegal. Martin shuld not have left this problem child unsupervised. There is a reason he was suspended from school at the time. The Dad should not have been out drinking all nite, only to learn of his sons death the next day. What a POS parent.

    • Pj

      you are stupid, zimmerman was told to stay in his vehicle and let the police handle it but being a police want to be he decided to handle it himself.he should have left it along the child was not doing anything to him but he should have. it should have been the other way

    • justtalkin

      What problem child. We do not know the reason for him being suspended this one time. So your statements are full of assumptions. This child had never been in trouble with the law. NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He did not deserve to be killed because of his color.

      • gw

        killed because of his color? hmmm…. your proof would be? and if you had such proof, your obvious hand-wringing rush to jump on the diversity bandwagon falls flat: whitey didn’t do the shoot.. jorge did. or are you stereotyping names?

  • poorwhiteboy

    Let”s give Sharpton a bag of skittles and send him out and play too.

  • poorwhiteboy

    Aw another good black boy shot. Can”t we get more?

  • Phyllis Jones

    Parents you need a new lawyer, why is this lawyer revealing everything to the press instead of waiting until you go to court. Zimmerman lawyers will eat him up. Find a lawyer that no how to handle cases like this please, if not you will not get justice for your son. This is not a real (good) lawyer. He is talking to much. Find a lawyer

  • Linda

    Being a gated community, they must have association fees paid yearly which include insurance to pay for maintenace, liability etc.
    Get the association who made Zimmerman in charge pay for your son’s
    expenses. I have 3 boys and they do stupid things and wear hoodies, I hope Zimm isn’t around when they buy their candy. This guy should go to jail and face all the dad’s in jail. They will straighten him out. If nothing is done, Zimm’s kids will be next one’s carrying guns.

  • Trayvon Martin « The Black Conversation

    […] up to:a b CBS Miami/Associated Press (March 10, 2012).“Parents Seek Justice For Unarmed Son’s Killing”. CBS Miami. Retrieved September 10, […]

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