crimesider

Friend of Trayon Martin shooter George Zimmerman, says he is "extremely remorseful"

George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, claims he was acting in self-defense. Mark Strassmann speaks with people who know Zimmerman for more perspective on who he is. WKMG

Who is George Zimmerman?
George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, claims he was acting in self-defense.

(CBS/AP) MIAMI - A man identified as a friend of George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch captain who fatally shot unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, says the man would tell Martin's parents he's "very, very sorry" if he could.

Photos: Trayvon Martin

Monday, on ABC's "Good Morning America," Joe Oliver said George Zimmerman is someone who thought he was doing the right thing and has now virtually lost his life.

Both Oliver and Craig Sooner, an attorney speaking for Zimmerman, said there is other evidence that hasn't come out that shows Zimmerman was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed Martin.

An eyewitness that came forward told ABC News exclusively that during the confrontation Feb. 26, Martin pinned Zimmerman down, and the voice screaming "Help, Help" on the 911 call was Zimmerman, not Martin's. When the confrontation was over, Zimmerman reportedly had a broken nose and bloody head.

"He couldn't stop crying. He's a caring human being," Oliver, 53, a former television news reporter and anchor in Orlando who has known Zimmerman for several years, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"I mean, he took a man's life and he has no idea what to do about it. He's extremely remorseful about it," Oliver said, relating stories told to him by Zimmerman's mother-in-law, a close friend of Oliver's wife.

The lead prosecutor in the case explains that convicting Zimmerman won't be easy. Sanford police did not arrest Zimmerman, saying the evidence could not disprove his account of self-defense although the case is under review by a state special prosecutor and the U.S. Justice Department.

"I understand how they're able to leap to the conclusion," Oliver said. "You have a dead teenager. This guy is white so it must be a hate crime. There's going to be evidence to come out that basically will justify George's concern."

"I just have to do what's right, not just for my friend but for everyone involved," Oliver said. "His mother in law lost her job for this. He's in hiding. His mother in law can't see her own daughter because she fears for their lives."

Complete coverage of the Trayvon Martin case on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

Comments

Follow Us