George Zimmerman on Univision: I'm homeless, suffering from PTSD
George Zimmerman, the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who fatally shot Trayvon Martin, told Spanish-language television network Univision that he is homeless and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
An English translation of the
Special correspondent Ilia Calderón spoke at length to Zimmerman, who shot the 17-year-old
In the interview, Zimmerman repeatedly declines to answer questions about the shooting, citing a still-pending federal civil-rights investigation.
However, he tells Calderón that his first reaction after firing the shot was concern that he had missed.
"I was afraid it had gone through his clothes and that it was going to go ... get lost, and, um, you know, go into a house and — because the young man was still talking to me, as I have said. So I thought that it hadn't … affected him, and I got worried, and I said, 'I hope that it hasn't — that the bullet hasn't hit a neighbor,'" Zimmerman says. "But I only knew that the attack stopped."
Zimmerman describes receiving death threats, which he attributes to the portrayal of the shooting in the media.
"You don't think it's because of the fact that you fired [a] gun?" Calderón asks.
"Correct. No, obviously not," replies Zimmerman, noting that other shootings get less media attention.
Later in the interview, Zimmerman tells Calderón that he was "100 percent" sure of his actions on the night of the shooting. Trayvon would have killed him if he hadn't opened fire, Zimmerman says.
"I know that for sure, yes," he tells Calderón.
Zimmerman says in the interview that he has canceled plans to participate in a celebrity boxing
Zimmerman goes on to say that he can't have a "normal life," wears a bulletproof vest when in public and doesn't have a permanent home. He says that his family helps him "a lot."
"I'm totally homeless," Zimmerman says. Later, Calderón asks how he has changed since the shooting: "I suffer from PTSD," Zimmerman replies.
Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder in Trayvon's death by a special prosecutor but was acquitted at trial last year. The case sparked international outrage and protests and renewed debate about Florida's "stand your ground" self-defense law, racial profiling and gun rights.