ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-night
50°
Sunny
H 68° L 32°
  • clear-night
    50°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 68° L 32°
  • clear-day
    65°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 68° L 32°
  • clear-night
    53°
    Evening
    Clear. H 68° L 32°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

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

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.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • York County, South Carolina, authorities are asking the public to keep them in their thoughts and prayers after officials said four law enforcement officers were shot early Tuesday. >> Watch the news report here >> On WSOCTV.com: IMAGES: 4 law enforcement officers shot in York County Three of those officers were ambushed as they searched for a man suspected of beating his wife in the couple's home, according to York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson. A fourth officer had been shot earlier in the search. Trent Faris with the York County Sheriff's Office told WSOC-TV that around 10:10 p.m., deputies responded to a domestic violence call on Farrier Lane, just outside the town of York. >> Read more trending news  The incident unfolded in the area of South Paraham Road between Campbell Road and Highway 49. Faris said the suspect, 47-year-old Christian Thomas McCall, was assaulting a woman in the home, but when deputies arrived, he had taken off. Tolson said McCall ran into the woods after officers arrived, and later, around 1 a.m., shot York County Sgt. Randy Clinton who was chasing him with a police dog. Clinton was placed in a patrol car by another officer and rushed to Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill. More resources were called in, including the SWAT team, as deputies continued searching for McCall in the woods. The sheriff said two hours later, McCall ambushed York County Detective Mike Doty, injuring him critically. He also wounded York County Sgt. Buddy Brown and York City Police Sgt. Kyle Cummings. All three were on the county's SWAT team. Two of those wounded officers were flown to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, while the third was taken to CMC by ambulance. Clinton has been with the Sheriff's Office for 34 years. Tolson said Clinton had not been taken into surgery Tuesday afternoon, but his injuries were non-life-threatening. Brown has been with the Sheriff's Office for 13 years. He underwent surgery Tuesday, which went well, and he's expected to be OK, according to Tolson. >> On WSOCTV.com: GoFundMe Recovery Fund for the officers and their families Doty, who has been with the Sheriff's Office for 12 years, is in very critical condition, and Tolson said Doty is 'hanging on to life.' Cummings has been with the police department for three years. His injuries are considered non-life-threatening, according to officials. SLED officials announced at a news conference Tuesday afternoon that McCall will likely be charged with three counts of attempted murder and weapons charges. “Our main concern is for our guys who are in the hospital right now,” Faris said. “We could really use your prayers, and we could really use your thoughts right now for those officers.' Authorities told WSOC-TV that a SLED helicopter was carrying two pilots when it came under fire during the search. The officers on the helicopter were not injured but the helicopter’s rear stabilizer was hit. Faris said McCall was also shot and taken to CMC in Charlotte with serious injuries. The spot where he was taken into custody is nearly a mile away from the home where McCall lives. Thom Berry, a State Law Enforcement Division spokesman, said McCall has an arrest from 1994 when he was charged with assault, resisting arrest and assaulting an officer. McCall had been assaulting his wife Monday night, according to his father-in-law, who expressed shock to WSOC-TV, saying violence toward police is uncharacteristic for McCall. He said he didn't know of any history of violence between his daughter and son-in-law. WSOC-TV crews watched as medical helicopters and ambulances arrived at CMC in uptown around 4:30 a.m. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department sent its aviation unit to help the York County Sheriff's Office, and CMPD officers blocked the roads so ambulances could get to CMC as quickly as possible. Neighbors witness the violent encounter  A WSOC-TV viewer who lives on Paraham Road said neighbors were being told to stay inside. Faris said the Sheriff's Office sent a reverse 911 call to local residents to make them aware of the situation. 'I saw individuals carrying automatic weapons up and down the highway,” said neighbor Scott Killian. “I've never seen so many police cars in my life. In fact, I didn't know York County had that many ... but it was an experience you won't forget.” Killian didn't know at time that officers were frantically searching for McCall in the woods near his backyard. Then Killian said he heard several gunshots. 'The first burst was 'Pow, pow, pow, pow,' such as that. Then just a second it was real automatic, fast. Then it was over with and we didn't know what happened,' Killian said. Now neighbors in the quiet community are left trying to understand why this happened as they pray for the officers to survive. 
  • A chaotic crowd seemingly fueled by unruly teenagers trampled a 67-year-old grandmother late Jan. 6 as she left a South Florida movie theater.   Someone yelled “gun,” Sheryl Cohen said last week, and when she turned to run from the Cinemark’s lobby in Boynton Beach the crowd quickly caught up with her.   “I saw people running at me initially, then the next thing I knew I was on the ground,” she said. The Boynton Beach resident broke multiple bones, bruised her face and lost a $3,000 hearing aid.   That unruly Saturday night led to 11 juveniles’ arrests, Boynton Beach police said. Authorities were first called to the Boynton Mall due to reports of as many as 300 juveniles loitering. One teen later told police they’d gathered due to an Instagram post that told people to meet for a fight.   When the mall closed at 9 p.m. the juveniles meandered to the Cinemark, where they planned to see “Insidious: The Last Key,” records state. But the next showing of the horror film wasn’t until 10:30 p.m., and the theater wouldn’t open until 10 p.m. so the gaggle of teens and 17 police officers waited.   “I could hear young people yelling and screaming at each other,” Cohen said. She’d been at an evening showing of “All the Money in the World” with her husband; it let out shortly after 9 p.m. Her husband headed toward the bathroom. She told him she’d meet him outside.   According to police, multiple fights broke out inside and outside of the Cinemark building, prompting theater employees to cancel the 10:30 showing of the horror film and order the teens to leave.   Many of the teens ignored those initial orders, according to police records, so at least one officer pulled out pepper spray and threatened to use it if they didn’t leave the theater.   Despite a few who resisted arrest, most teens cleared the area and spilled over into nearby restaurants -- Buffalo Wild Wings, IHOP, Bru’s Room and McDonald’s -- and a 24 Hour Fitness, according to police records.   But at some point amid the commotion someone yelled “gun,” according to Cohen. Police at the scene did not report hearing anyone mention a gun, though Cohen is sure she did. She even remembers waiting to hear gunfire.   She never did.   Despite rumors of a shooting that night, Boynton police say they found no evidence of any gunfire.   They did, however, find evidence to arrest nearly a dozen juveniles on misdemeanor charges, mainly resisting arrest and disturbance-related offenses, police records show. All of the juveniles were released to their parents.   One of the teens was taken to a hospital first, though, for injuries sustained after falling face-first over a cement planter while running from authorities. At least four officers sustained cuts and other injuries while responding to the disturbances that night.   And Cohen was left with injuries that doctors expect will take months to heal.   She’s frustrated that moviegoers weren’t kept in their seats after the film ended while authorities cleared out the already chaotic lobby. Emptying the theaters only added to the disorder, she said.   Cinemark officials did not return The Post’s request for comment. It is unclear what the company’s policy for handling unruly crowds is.   “They were very, very lucky in this instance,” Cohen said. “Someone could have actually had a gun.”
  • This year’s deadly flu season continues to claim lives across the country and it has set records in Central Florida.   A doctor with Centra Care said the staff treated a never-before-seen number of patients in the Orlando area.   Doctors treated 874 people last week compared with 587 patients the week before, officials said.   The previous record--842 patients in one week--was set in 2015, officials said.   State health officials said they’ve seen an increase in the flu in the northern regions of the state.   One child recently has died from complications of the flu, state health officials said. The child was not vaccinated and had underlying health conditions, they said.   Flu is not a required reportable disease, so a spokesperson for the state said the numbers are tracked through monitoring reports of influenza-like illnesses, flu testing and hospital admissions for flu.   Flu activity is on the rise throughout the United States and in Florida.    Health officials are required to report any deaths of patients under the 18 who die of flu complications.   Health officials said that though the flu vaccine is not 100 percent effective, it’s still the best prevention method, particularly for people at high risk.   “Especially children under 5 years old, pregnant women, people 65 and older, and (those) with chronic conditions such as asthma,” said Mirna Chamorro of the Seminole County Health Department.
  • A Springfield, Ohio, man is facing multiple charges after he allegedly whipped a pregnant woman with a belt. Ethan S. Gavin, 20, is facing one count each of domestic violence, resisting arrest and obstructing official business. >> Read more trending news  The Springfield Police Division was called to the 2600 block of Lagonda Avenue at about 10 a.m. Monday about an argument between a man and a woman, according to a police report. A police officer took the victim to a back bedroom to get more information about the situation, the report said. Gavin then went outside, but later came back inside and attempted to enter the bedroom. A police officer had to stop him with his hand, but Gavin refused to leave the room. >> On SpringfieldNewsSun.com: Man accused of striking mom with cane over drug money Gavin was then placed under arrest but refused to cooperate, police said. He began wrestling with officers and was eventually stunned with a Taser, police said. Gavin allegedly choked the victim with both hands, punched her in the head and whipped her with a belt on the arms, legs and stomach, the report said. The victim also told police she is eight weeks pregnant. Gavin was placed in the Clark County Jail.
  • Waving off a push by Democrats to force action this week on a compromise over the future of illegal immigrant “Dreamers,” Republicans in Congress said they wanted to wait for further negotiations on DACA, as House GOP leaders unveiled a short term funding plan that would keep the federal government running into mid-February, but that plan faced immediate resistance from some more conservative Republicans. “There is no reason why Congress should hold government funding hostage over the issues of illegal immigration,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said a resolution on DACA could wait until February or March. But even without DACA in the mix, a new temporary funding plan unveiled by House Republican leaders last night got a tepid embrace from GOP lawmakers, frustrated by the lack of an overall budget agreement for 2018. THE CHORUS FROM H GOP on another CR: 'it's better than shutting down government' — Lisa Desjardins (@LisaDNews) January 17, 2018 The biggest red flag came from more conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus, who argue the GOP should forge ahead with a plan to fully fund the military for 2018, while leaving all other government operations on a stop gap budget. After a meeting Tuesday night, Freedom Caucus chair Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) made it clear that the group was not ready to endorse the GOP funding plan, which would keep the government running through February 19. The goal is to use that extra time to reach a broader budget deal with Democrats, allowing the Congress to then approve a larger “Omnibus” funding plan for the 2018 budget year – which began back on October 1, 2017. Question now is will this resistance hold “Currently, just based on the number of “nos” and “undecideds” in the Freedom Caucus, there’s not enough support to pass it with GOP-only votes,” Meadows told reporters about short-term CR — Lauren Fox (@FoxReports) January 17, 2018 It was a replay of a familiar scenario on Capitol Hill, where House Republican infighting might lead to a shutdown at the end of the week. “It’s a possibility, yes,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), when asked about the chances of a shutdown. “But I don’t think it’s really going to happen,” Inhofe told reporters. “Nobody really wants it on either side.” The new GOP stopgap budget unveiled on Tuesday evening included a few sweeteners, as leaders added to the funding plan a provision that reauthorizes the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through 2023. “Without immediate action to fund CHIP, millions of low-income children will receive notices in the coming weeks that they might lose their health coverage,” said Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) and Rep. Mike Burgess (R-TX) in a statement. While the CHIP extension had been expected, the GOP stopgap budget included something else that was a big surprise – as the bill would suspend three different taxes from the Obama health law. While Republicans try to find the votes to support that plan, a bipartisan group of Senators will unveil the final details of their DACA compromise on Wednesday, in hopes of stirring more support. “I don’t know how this movie ends,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who very publicly said he thought the President had signed on to the compromise DACA plan last Thursday, but then had his mind changed by immigration hard liners in the White House, and the Senate. One of those opponents is Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who bluntly told the DACA group of six Senators not to even try to push ahead with their plan. “Might as well roll it straight into the trash can,” Cotton said of the DACA deal, which he has labeled a mass amnesty. Meanwhile, Democrats were hoping for a budget impasse, as they argue that a resolution on DACA could still be added into the mix this week. The ball is in the Republican Party’s court. They control the White House, Senate & House. Will they shut down the government to deport hundreds of thousands of our brothers & sisters? A deal is on the table. https://t.co/K1UHB5vWDf — Guy Cecil (@guycecil) January 17, 2018 Many Republicans say they also want action on DACA, but they understand in the current environment – after the blow up over what the President said – or did not say – last week, that no agreement can happen right now. “Unfortunately, about every time we get close to putting our toes in the water, something happens,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA). The tentative plan is for the House to try to vote on a stop gap budget on Thursday. The Senate could then pass the same measure before a Friday night shutdown deadline.