NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – Trayvon Martin’s stepmother was happy to hear that charges had been filed against George Zimmerman, the man accused of shooting and killing her unarmed stepson.
Alicia Martin spoke to CBS4’s Peter D’Oench on Thursday, just one day after Special Prosecutor Angela Corey announced Zimmerman had been charged with second degree murder.
“I didn’t give birth to him but he was my son,” said Martin. “To know that he died the way that he died, he shouldn’t have never died like that.”
Martin said Trayvon lived in her home off and on for the last five years and they were very close.
“He was at my house every day, every night. I took care of him. My kids grew up with him. We grew up as a family. We were a family.”
Martin, grieving and heartbroken over Trayvon’s death, applauded news of Zimmerman’s arrest.
“He should have backed up. When they told him to stand down, he should have done exactly what the 911 operator told him to do, after he left out of that car and pursued our son he had all the intentions on touching him, apprehending him, putting his hands on him, he can’t justify what happened,” said Alicia.
“None of this would have happened had he stayed in his car,” she added. “The ‘stand your ground’ law doesn’t protect someone who pursues someone like that. Trayvon meant a lot to me. I just want justice to be done. He took away a lot from us. I feel good about the charges. With anything less, I would have been disappointed.”
News of Zimmerman’s arrest brought relief to many who knew Trayvon Martin. For the past month and a half many friends said they waited and prayed for justice.
Now his classmates at Michael Krop Senior High in Northeast Miami-Dade are happy to hear charges have been filed.
“They finally arrested him. It’s about time,” said student Michael Puente. “They finally got justice for him.”
“When someone is killed, when someone is dead, than the person who killed him deserves to go to jail whether voluntary or involuntary or whatever, the person deserves to go to jail,” said student Melissa Kean.
“I feel like justice is served. Ya know what, Zimmerman did wrong and he tried to cover it up and Trayvon finally got justice and that’s all that we really wanted,” said student Alfred Hill.
Martin was a junior at Krop Senior High when he was shot and killed on Feb. 26th in Sanford.
He was also a member of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Miami Gardens, where his family attends services.
“Trayvon had just joined the church in December,” the Rev. G. Vincent Lewis, the Associate Pastor of the church. “He was involved with new member orientation.”
Asked by D’Oench about the charges against Zimmerman, Lewis said, “My reaction is one of relief that justice can now begin, because without an arrest and without a charge, we don’t get the benefit of hearing all the evidence so that a fair verdict can come forth.”