George Zimmerman’s father told an Orlando television station that Trayvon Martin threatened to kill his son, then beat him before he shot and killed the 17-year-old in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26.
“It’s my understanding that Trayvon Martin got on top of him and just started beating him,” Robert Zimmerman told WOFL. “Martin said something to the effect of, ‘You’re going to die now’ or ‘You’re going to die tonight.’ He continued to beat George. At some point, George pulled his pistol. Did what he did.”
“He was punched in the nose. His nose was broken,” the 64-year-old Zimmerman continued. “He was knocked to the concrete. Trayvon Martin got on top of him and just started beating him. In the face. In his nose, hitting his head on the concrete.”
Only a shadow of the elder Zimmerman’s face is shown in the televised interview, because of fears for his and his 28-year-old son’s safety.
The comments came on the same day a surveillance video, taken at police headquarters the night of the killing, was broadcast by ABC News.
The tape shows Zimmerman, with his hands cuffed, exit a patrol car, with an officer inspecting the back of his head. Zimmerman does not appear to have any substantial injuries, though the video does not show a close-up of the neighborhood watchman.
“The injuries that made it sound as though he really should have been on a stretcher are not apparent in this tape at all,” Marcia Clark, special prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson trial, told CNN. “He moves freely. He moves fluidly, not like someone who has just been through a beating in any way, shape or form, someone whose head has been pounded on the pavement as hard as described, someone whose nose was broken and bleeding. That tells you a great deal.