By Rene Stutzman, Jeff Weiner and Arelis R. Hernández, The Orlando Sentinel -
ORLANDO, Fla. — In a video released Thursday morning, a bandaged George Zimmerman re-enacted for police what he said happened the night he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
He fired a single shot, he said, after the teenager had repeatedly banged Zimmerman’s head on a sidewalk with such force, “I felt like my head was going to explode” and he feared he would lose consciousness.
Zimmerman appears in the video, shot by Sanford police the day after the shooting, with two bandages on the back of his head and apparent injuries to much of his face, including his nose. Family members have said it was broken.
In the re-enactment, released by defense attorney Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman told officers that he had lost sight of Trayvon, had turned around and was walking back to his vehicle when the teenager appeared behind him and to his left.
Trayvon then yelled at him, he said, “‘Do you have a problem?’ I said, ‘I don’t have a problem, man.’ … He said, ‘You’ve got a problem now.’ … He punched me in the face.”
That caused Zimmerman to fall, he said.
“I think I stumbled. I fell down. He pushed me down, somehow he got on top of me,” Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman said he tried to sit up, but Trayvon kept him down.
“That’s when I started screaming for help,” he said.
“He grabbed me by the head and tried to slam my head down. … My head was on the cement. … It felt like my head was going to explode. I thought I was going to lose consciousness. … I tried to squirm off the concrete,” Zimmerman told Sanford police Investigator Chris Serino and Sgt. Randy Smith.
A neighbor then opened the door, Zimmerman told police, and Zimmerman pleaded with him for help, but the neighbor backed away, saying he would call 911.
“I said, ‘No, help me. I need help,’’’ but the neighbor went inside.
Zimmerman then thought about his gun, worn in a holster on his waist, and felt his jacket move, he said. Trayvon spotted the gun too, he told police.
“He said, ‘You’re going to die, mother——,” Zimmerman said. “I grabbed it, I grabbed my firearm and shot it.”
Zimmerman says the teenager sat up after the shot and said “you got me” or something similar. He either fell off or Zimmerman pushed him off, Zimmerman said.
“Either way, I got up on him. I pushed his arms apart … I thought he had something in his hands, so I moved his hands apart.”
At that point, he was not sure that he had hit Trayvon, Zimmerman said. He thought the teenager was backing off because he now knew Zimmerman had a gun and wasn’t afraid to use it, he told police.
Trayvon was face down, and Zimmerman standing over him, straddling him, he said, when the first bystanders appeared, he said.