George Zimmerman, the man charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February, gave his first public interview with Sean Hannity on Wednesday night—giving his side of a story that has captivated Americans. From Zimmerman’s claim that he was “walking very leisurely” to his description of when he reached for the gun, watch the most shocking moments from the interview.
Zimmerman I Did Not Feel Threatened
Zimmerman claimed that at one point Trayvon, who Zimmerman said had been cutting between houses and “walking very leisurely” for a rainy night, reached for something in his waistband—perhaps a weapon. Zimmerman says he thought Trayon was trying to intimidate him. But when Hannity directly asked if he felt threatened by the 17-year-old, Zimmerman said, “No, not particularly.”
Trayvon was “Skipping,” not Running
Apparently, much of the early confrontation was nonthreatening. Asked if there was “any chance” that maybe Martin was afraid of him, Zimmerman responded “No.” Why would the teenager start running away then? According to Zimmerman, the teen was not actually running, but “more was skipping, going away quickly.” However, Hannity pointed out that on the night in question, Zimmerman told the dispatcher that Martin was running.
Going for the Gun
At a certain point on that fateful night, Zimmerman recalls thinking “it’s not my gun, it’s not his gun, it was the gun.” Zimmerman then said Martin said, “you’re gonna die tonight motherf**ker,” before removing his hand from Zimmerman’s mouth and reaching for the gun holster. “That’s when I didn’t have any more time,” Zimmerman said. For the record, it was Zimmerman’s gun.
Hannity asked what Zimmerman would say to those who jumped to conclusions and said the shooting might have been racially motivated, to which Zimmerman replied, “I’m not a racist, and I’m not a murderer.” Hannity then asked Zimmerman if he regretted getting out of the car that night or carrying a gun. “No sir,” Zimmerman responded, later clarifying that “It was all God’s plan.”
Zimmerman’s Message to America
Towards the end of the interview, Hannity asked Zimmerman to speak directly to the American public. Perhaps sensing a public relations nightmare, Zimmerman asked to “re-address” one of Hannity’s previous questions, saying, “I do wish that there was something, anything, I could have done that wouldn’t have put me into the position where I had to take his life.”
Witness No. 9
Asked about Witness No. 9, who suggested Zimmerman and his family had racist views and accused Zimmerman of molesting her, Zimmerman said he felt fortunate that the FBI had cleared him of any “racial wrong-doing.” He called it “ironic” that the only person the FBI found who accused him of racism was the same person who had accused him of being a “deviant.” Zimmerman’s lawyer said the molestation accusation would be a “non-issue” in the trial and would “never see the light of day in a courtroom.”