Sanford police chief: No arrest made in teen's shooting death



SANFORD, Fla. - A news conference was held at on Monday in reference to the teen who was shot and killed in Sanford by a neighborhood watch leader.

George Zimmerman, 28, hasn't been arrested for shooting and killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, officials said.

Martin was visiting family in this gated Sanford townhome community. 

Zimmerman called police around sunset on February 26 to report a suspicious black man in the predominately white neighborhood.

Sanford police Chief Bill Lee said that dispatchers told Zimmerman not to confront the teenager.

However, Zimmerman did and before police arrived, the two got into an argument and then a scuffle.

Zimmerman shot the teenager in the chest, police said.

He told police the shooting was in self-defense.

Zimmerman is nearly twice the teenager's size, measuring at 5 feet 9 and weighing 250 pounds, according to police records.

During the news conference, Lee said that Zimmerman's claim of self defense has not been proven or dis-proven. He also said that after the police department's investigation is complete, they will hand it over to the State Attorney's Office.

"When someone shoots and kills someone they get arrested. Why are you passing the buck in this case and putting it on prosecutors to make a determination?" WFTV reporter Daralene Jones asked.

"Because that is the proper thing to do. By statute, if someone makes a statement of self defense, unless we have probably cause to dispute that, we can not make an arrest," replied Lee.

A crowd of angry black residents demanded answers from the police chief, after he announced they will let prosecutors decide if Zimmerman should be arrested for Martin's death.

"He didn't take the candy. He took the life and left the child," said one resident.  

Documents detailed how Zimmerman confronted a state agent who was arresting three bar employees on the UCF campus. WFTV learned that in 2005, Zimmerman was arrested for battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence.

The report states that Zimmerman said 'I don't care who you are," and then he cursed and pushed the officer.

Zimmerman agreed to a pre-trial diversion program, which court records show required counseling.

Lee admitted on Monday that his investigators took Zimmerman's word that he had a clean record and didn’t find out about the arrest until days after the shooting.