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Interactive map: The Trayvon Martin killing

What exactly happened the night of Trayvon Martin’s death is still a mystery. George Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Martin. Zimmerman claims he was forced to kill Martin in self-defense, but is Zimmerman’s side of the story the whole story?
George Zimmerman said he was on the way to the grocery store the night he killed Trayvon Martin. The incident occurred in the gated community where Zimmerman lives in Sanford, Florida – the Retreat at Twin Lakes. The day after the incident, Zimmerman led police through the gated community where the shooting took place, with a video camera, to explain his version of what happened that night. Zimmerman volunteered for his neighborhood watch group, but he was not on duty the night of Martin’s death. He told police he had forgotten he was wearing his gun holster – with his gun in it – that night, until he felt it during the altercation with Martin. Zimmerman told police it all began when he was driving through the neighborhood and spotted Martin on a neighbor’s lawn.

Watch more: George Zimmerman’s story in his own words

Zimmerman told police he was driving through the neighborhood when he saw Trayvon Martin on the lawn in front of a neighbor’s house – Frank Taaffe’s (on Retreat View Circle). Zimmerman said Martin was in the grass “leisurely looking at the house,” and what made him suspicious of Martin was that it was dark and raining and he was just standing there. Security video confirms Martin was coming from a nearby 7-Eleven store, where he bought Skittles and a canned drink (which were found on him later by police), and he was headed back to the house where he was staying with his father, inside the Retreat at Twin Lakes community. Martin’s actions between the time he left the 7-Eleven and his death are unknown, besides what Martin’s girlfriend told police and Zimmerman’s account of that night. Zimmerman said after he noticed Martin, he continued driving past him to the neighborhood clubhouse down the street, where he stopped to call the Sanford Police Department’s non-emergency line.

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Zimmerman told police that after he drove past Martin, he stopped at the neighborhood clubhouse to call the Sanford Police Department’s non-emergency line to report what he called Martin’s suspicious activity. Zimmerman said after he pulled over and made the call, Martin walked past him and was looking at his truck and “still looking around at houses.” During his call to police, Zimmerman said, “Something’s wrong with him. Yup, he’s coming to check me out. He’s got something in his hands. I don’t know what his deal is.”

Watch more: Red flags in Zimmerman’s police re-enactment?

Watch more: Zimmerman’s full interview with police the night of Trayvon Martin’s death

Zimmerman told police he followed Martin in his truck from the clubhouse down Retreat View Circle. Zimmerman said when he was nearing the point where the street curves around to the right, Martin looked back at him and disappeared behind the houses. Zimmerman said he was still on the phone with police at that point.

Watch more: What happened during the 2-minute gap in Zimmerman's story?

Read more: Read the written statement from Zimmerman to police about what happened (PDF)

Read more: Audio expert: Zimmerman 911 call is not reliable

Zimmerman told police that after disappearing behind the houses, Martin came back toward the street, circled Zimmerman’s truck, and then once again headed back toward the houses. Zimmerman said that’s when he thought to get out of his truck and look for a street sign, because he was still on the phone with non-emergency dispatch and wanted to give the dispatcher more information.

Watch more: Should Zimmerman have been arrested earlier?

Read more: Audio expert: Zimmerman 911 call is not reliable

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In the interview the day after the shooting, Zimmerman told police he got out of his truck to look for a street sign, in order to give the non-emergency dispatcher more information. At this point, the dispatcher asked Zimmerman, “Are you following him?” – referring to Martin. When Zimmerman said he was, the dispatcher said, “OK. We don’t need you to do that.”

Watch more: Neighbor’s call to 911: Who’s screaming for help?

Read more: Photos: What the Zimmerman jury won't know

Zimmerman said he was walking behind the houses toward Twin Lakes Lane when he told the non-emergency dispatcher that Martin was gone from the area and he didn’t see where he went. Zimmerman said after the dispatcher told him not to follow Martin, he said OK, and that he continued walking all the way to that street just to see if he could see an address. Zimmerman said the dispatcher asked if he still wanted a police officer to come and he told him yes, and for the officer to meet him back at his truck.

Watch more: Who started it: Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin?

Zimmerman and Martin cross paths and there is an altercation. Zimmerman told police he was headed back to his truck to meet the police officer that non-emergency dispatch was sending to the area, when he was confronted by Martin. Zimmerman described the altercation as a life-and-death struggle that was sparked by the teenager jumping out from behind the bushes. Zimmerman said Martin jumped out and asked him if he had a problem, he said no, and then Martin said, “You got a problem now.” Zimmerman said Martin then punched him in the nose, which caused him to fall to the ground. "He grabbed my head and started hitting it into the sidewalk," he said. "When he started doing that, I slid into the grass to try to get out from under him ... I'm still yelling for help."

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Zimmerman said he saw spectators gather around and heard a man say he was going to call 911, and Zimmerman told police that’s when he yelled “Help me, he’s killing me!” Zimmerman said Martin then put his hands over his nose and mouth to restrain him. Zimmerman told police how Martin then tried to grab his gun. "When I slid, my jacket and my shirt came up, and when he said, 'You're going to die tonight,' I felt his hand go down my side, and I thought he was going for my firearm, so I grabbed it immediately, and as he banged my head again, I just pulled out my firearm and shot him." When he did, he said Martin, who had been on top of him, fell away and said, "All right. You got it. You got it." Zimmerman is facing a second-degree murder charge for firing the shot that killed the teenager. Zimmerman told police he shot Martin in self-defense.

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Watch more: An analysis of Zimmerman’s story & the autopsy

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