Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee Jr. said Monday that his department has nearly completed “a thorough and fair investigation” into the fatal shooting of a Miami high school junior, but said police do not have anything at this point to dispute shooter George Zimmerman’s self-defense claim.
“Until we can establish probable cause to dispute that, we don’t have the grounds to arrest him,” Lee said of Zimmerman. According to police, Zimmerman, 26, the captain of a neighborhood crime watch group, told them that he shot Trayvon Martin, 17, in self-defense after an altercation on the night of Feb. 26.
Martin, who attended Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School in Miami, was visiting his father and his father’s fiancée at The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford and walking home from a 7-Eleven when, police said, Zimmerman called them using a non-emergency line and reported a suspicious person in the area. He followed Martin from his car, according to police.
Several callers told police that they saw a fight and heard a gunshot. Zimmerman, with the gun, was bleeding from his nose and head when authorities arrived, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Lee said that afterward police took Zimmerman into investigative detention and took his gun, which is being tested.
Zimmerman has not been arrested. Martin’s family has made many calls for that to happen.
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