George Zimmerman, the 30-year-old Floridian acquitted last year of murdering Trayvon Martin, says he’s homeless, jobless and struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Zimmerman made these comments in an interview with Spanish-language television network Univision that’s scheduled to air at 7 p.m. Sunday, a week and a half before the second anniversary of the shooting. An English-language translation of the interview was released Saturday.
Zimmerman was the neighborhood watch volunteer who encountered the unarmed 17-year-old at a gated community in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman said he suspected that Martin might have been the burglar responsible for a string of break-ins. Amid a confrontation, Zimmerman shot the teenager, later saying he did so in self-defense.
“In my mind and between God and me, I know that if I didn’t act, act the way I did, I wouldn’t be here,” he says in the Univision interview.
I mean, he wasn’t playing around,” Zimmerman says at another point.
Other notable moments in Zimmerman’s interview, seven months after the trial:
- He says he never realized that Martin was unarmed, but that Martin was clearly trying to grab the gun from him.
- He initially thought that his bullet had missed Martin and potentially struck a neighbor’s house.
- He expresses no regrets about the shooting.
- He has a debt of $2.5 million owed to his lawyers, Mark O’Mara and Don West. He has raised more than $300,000 from online donors and said he hopes to collect additional funds through a lawsuit he’s filed against NBC News over an edited 911 call, which he alleges made him look racist because a question and answer were mixed.
- He says he hasn’t collected welfare and will work as a cook if he has to. He’s living off his family for now.
- He blames sensationalized media coverage for making him notorious, saying people recognize him everywhere because “of what the press did with the incident in 2012, in February.”