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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Gun that killed teen was fired once, not twice

SANFORD, Fla. — The handgun that killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old, was fired once — not twice — by a neighborhood crime watch volunteer, according to new information obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.

Police found a single shell casing at the scene, and when they seized George Zimmerman’s handgun, a Kel Tel 9 mm, its magazine was full, according to a source close to the investigation. The only bullet missing was the one in the chamber, the source said. That contradicts the graphic interpretation that lawyers for the victim’s family made Friday night after listening to 911 calls from neighbors who heard or saw a fight between Zimmerman and Trayvon.

Lawyers Natalie Jackson and Benjamin Crump insisted then that they could hear two shots on one 911 call, a warning shot and a kill shot, and that that proved Zimmerman was a murderer.

Jackson and Crump were not available for comment Monday evening. But their Friday night statements about the two loud bangs on the recording run counter to other evidence. Three witnesses who have made public statements described a single shot.

Zimmerman has not been arrested. Trayvon was shot at about 7:15 p.m. Feb. 26 while walking through a Sanford gated community, returning from a 7-Eleven. Sanford police say they cannot arrest Zimmerman because he claims self-defense.

Zimmerman had called police to report a suspicious person — Trayvon. Zimmerman then stepped out of his SUV, while still on the phone with police, and followed the teenager on foot.

When police arrived, they found Zimmerman standing nearby, blood coming from his nose and the back of his head, a police report states. A neighbor called 911 before the shooting and described the fight as two people wrestling. A 13-year-old boy said he saw Zimmerman on the ground and heard someone calling for help. Zimmerman told police the cries came from him. Lawyers for Trayvon’s family say it was the Miami high school junior.

Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, appeared Monday on NBC’s “Today” show and said her son was followed by Zimmerman because of “the color of his skin.”

“I just don’t understand why the situation got out of control,” she said.

Sanford officials had hoped to sit down Tuesday with an official of the U.S. Department of Justice, an agency with a civil rights division and a record of taking on race-charged criminal cases. City officials hope that will quiet what has grown into a cause celebre.

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