Victim: Trayvon Martin (killed)
Accused: George Zimmerman

Martin

Trayvon Martin

Black male

Age at time: 17

Weapon: unarmed

Victim photo: Trayvon Martin at 17 years old. Photo courtesy of the Martin family

 
Zimmerman

George Zimmerman

Hispanic male

Age at time: 28

Weapon: gun

gun

Defendant photo: April 11, 2012 photo provided by the Sanford Police Department.




Travon Martin died Feb. 26, shot by a George Zimmerman, neighborhood crime watch captain patrolling a suburban gated townhouse community in Sanford.

Case type:
Citizen enforcing the law

Location:
public

Initiator:
defendant

Witnesses:
no

Case year:
2012

Location details: Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Seminole County, on Feb. 26, 2012

What happened: George Zimmerman was driving in his gated neighborhood when he spotted Trayvon Martin, 17, walking on a paved path between two sets of townhouses. Zimmerman, head of the Neighborhood Watch, called the police to report a suspicious person and began following Martin, first in a car and later on foot. Zimmerman's father said his son said Martin then threatened him, punched him in the nose and knocked him to the concrete. Zimmerman pulled a gun from a holster on his waist and shot Martin. Zimmerman claimed self-defense and was found not guilty by a jury on July 13, 2013.

The outcome: Zimmerman was acquitted on all charges on July 13, 2013. A special prosecutor had charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder. There was no Stand Your Ground hearing for immunity.

Investigating agency: Sanford Police

Case decision made by: Prosecutor

Trayvon Martin’s death became controversial because circumstances leading up to the shooting cast doubt on who was to blame. The Tampa Bay Times reviewed other “stand your ground” cases for similar circumstances. The Times relied on available information, some of which may not tell the whole story. When the situation was unclear, that was noted.

Yes No Unclear/
disputed

Did the victim initiate the confrontation?

Check

Was the victim armed?

Check

Was the victim committing a crime that led to the confrontation?

Check

Did the defendant pursue the victim?

Check

Could the defendant have retreated to avoid the conflict?

Check

Was the defendant on his or her property?

Check

Did someone witness the attack?

Check

Was there physical evidence?

Check

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These cases where the stand your ground law was invoked are similar to the Trayvon Martin case. Click on the "What happened" description to get more details about a case.

Year City What happened Weapon Fatalities Outcome
2012 Palm Harbor Citizen enforcing the law gun 1 not charged
2012 Miami Robbery knife 1 granted immunity
2011 Tampa Fight at bar/party gun none granted immunity
2011 Royal Palm Beach Attempted theft gun 1 not charged
2009 Fort Myers Fight at bar/party gun 1 not charged
2009 Homosassa Neighborhood dispute gun 1 not charged
2009 Wesley Chapel Trespassing gun none not charged
2008 South Beach Dispute over money/property knife 1 pending
2008 Thonotosassa Citizen enforcing the law gun 1 granted immunity
2008 New Port Richey Fight at bar/party gun 1 acquitted
2006 North Fort Myers Neighborhood dispute gun 1 not charged
 

Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013