George Zimmerman, facing a charge of second-degree murder in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, told Sean Hannity on Fox News Channel Wednesday, that had he the opportunity he would not change the circumstances leading up to the shooting of Trayvon Martin.
According to the Global Grind, Hannity went down to Seminole County, FL., and conducted the interview with Zimmerman and his defense attorney Mark O’Mara.
The Los Angeles Times reports the interview was conducted at an undisclosed location where Zimmerman must remain under conditions of his release on bail. The interview began with the question about how Zimmerman now feels about what happened. Zimmerman answered: "I think it's a tragic situation. I hope it's the most difficult thing I'll ever go through in my life. Looking back on shooting, I haven’t really had the time to reflect on it... tragic situation."
Hannity asked him if he has any regrets about carrying a gun or getting out of his car to follow Martin on the night of the shooting. He said he did not. He explained: "I feel that it was all God's plan, and for me to second guess it or judge it." When Hannity asked him whether there was anything he might do differently, he said: "No, sir."
Zimmerman insisted in the interview that he had never heard of the controversial "Stand Your Ground" law before the shooting.
According to ABC News, at the end of the interview, Zimmerman, sensing he might have misspoken asked to "to readdress on whether I'd do anything differently." According to the Miami Herald, he said he thought Hannity had asked if he was sorry he didn’t get a lawyer at first, or wished he hadn’t spoken so much to the police or taken voice stress tests.
He said: "I do wish that there was something, anything I could have done that would have put me in the position that I wouldn't have to take his life. I'm sorry that this happened. I hate to think that because of this incident, because of my actions, that it's polarized and divided America."
Miami Herald reports he said: “I want to tell everyone, my wife, my family, my parents, grandmother, the Martins, the city of Sanford and America: I’m sorry that this happened. I’m truly sorry."
According to The Los Angeles Times, O'Mara remained mostly silent except to say that his client would not comment on sex abuse allegations recently levelled against him by an unidentified female relative.
Zimmeran was released after a $1 million bond. He was charged in April with second degree murder in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in Sanford, Florida.
There have been reactions to Zimmerman's statement that he has no regret about the shooting.
ABC News reports that a statement released by Trayvon's family through their attorney Ben Crump, said: "Zimmerman said that he does not regret getting out of his vehicle, he does not regret following Trayvon, in fact he does not regret anything that he did that night. He wouldn't do anything different and he concluded it was God's plan..."
Trayvon's father Tracy Martin, said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press: “We must worship a different God.There is no way that my God wanted George Zimmerman to murder my teenage son.”
Martin’s attorney Benjamin Crump, speechless, only uttered two words: “just ... unbelievable.”
Zimmerman repeated his claim that he shot Martin only in self defense. He said the 17-year-old knocked him down and banged his head on the pavement and he feared for his life.
Hannity asked him twice to explain his behavior after the shooting that caused a witness to tell investigators he seemed "unfazed" by what happened. Zimmerman said: “I was scared, nervous. I thought the police were going to come, see me with a firearm, and shoot me. I was terrified.”
In the attempt to address claims that he is racist, he said he was raised by his Peruvian mother and grandmother while his Caucasian dad was in the Army. He said he considers himself “a Hispanic American," and said that civil rights leaders who said he is racist owe him an apology. He said: "I'm not a racist and I'm not a murderer."
He repeated his claim that his suspicion of Martion sprang from his behaviour that evening. He said Martin was moving between houses in the rain. Zimmerman told Hannity that he believed Martin saw him and made gestures toward his waistband to suggest he was armed. He said: "I was on the phone [with a police dispatcher] but I was certain I could see him saying something to me and his demeanor was confrontational." He continued: "He was skipping, going away quickly, but he wasn't running away out of fear." ABC News notes that the last comment conflicts with his recorded description to police after the incident. He had told the police he did not remember how Martin ran.
In response to the question why he followed Martin, he said: "I meant that I was going in the same direction as him to keep an eye on him so I could tell the police where he was going. I didn't mean that I was pursuing him."
Zimmerman insisted he did not intend to pursue or confront Trayvon in defiance of the dispatcher's advise that "We don't need you to do that." He said he was returning to his pickup when Martin confronted him. He said: "He asked me what my problem was."
He told Hannity: "He started bashing my head into the concrete sidewalk... As soon as he broke my nose, I started yelling for help because I was disoriented and he started slamming my head into the concrete."
He said he managed to move away from the concrete to the grass to avoid his head being banged repeatedly on the pavement. He said Martin punched him "cursing, telling me to shut up and, finally, he told me he was going to kill me." He said he felt Martin's hand going for his gun but he reached it first. According to Zimmerman, Martin told him: "You're going to die tonight."
The New York Times reports Zimmerman said he felt he had no choice but to pull the trigger because Trayvon had seen his gun while they struggled on the ground. He said: "At that point, um, I realized that it wasn't my gun, it wasn't his gun, it was the gun... he said, ‘You are going to die tonight' and took one hand off my mouth, and I felt it going down my chest toward my belt and my holster and I didn't have any more time...It just happened so quickly."
Zimmerman said he would like to apologize once again to Martin's parents. He said: "My wife and I don't have any children. I have nephews that I love more than life. I love them more than myself. And I know when they were born, it was a different unique bond and love that I have with them. And I love my children even though that they aren't born yet... I am sorry that they buried their child... I can't imagine what it must feel like. And I pray for them daily."