Zimmerman testified he cried out ‘Help’ and ‘you’re gonna die’ before killing Trayvon Martin

By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

(CNN) — Trayvon Martin’s shooting death began with screams for help, and a young man screamed more loudly at that, the man who shot Martin testified Monday.

“I couldn’t tell if he was screaming for his life or for his life,” Matthew Apperson said.

It would be more than a month before the Florida resident would learn that Martin’s last breath was snatched by George Zimmerman.

Apperson is the man who first called 911 and said he saw a person bleeding from the nose and mouth.

The next month, not long after Zimmerman was arrested, Zimmerman told police that Martin had punched him and battered his head against a sidewalk, according to an arrest affidavit.

Apperson told police his calls to 911 placed him in the same neighborhood that morning. He also said he saw Martin walking up behind him and banging his head against the sidewalk.

“I don’t know what he was yelling about,” Apperson said. “It was his face, and he had blood on his nose and blood on his head. He had his shorts and underwear pulled down to his ankles.”

“He had me in a chokehold,” Apperson testified Monday. “He was straddling me and his hand was on my neck, and he was straddling me and I was on my back.”

Apperson said he had his gun, and Zimmerman “yelled, ‘Get off me!’” and asked him to aim for his head.

“He had my gun,” Apperson said. “He struck me. I struck him. He was swinging around and got my gun.”

Apperson said he shot Martin, who was returning from a convenience store and carrying Skittles and a can of iced tea, once in the chest.

Zimmerman had told police that Martin had attacked him and that he fired in self-defense.

Apperson’s trial was delayed by an emergency medical condition.

Martin’s parents believe Zimmerman wrongly pursued and shot their unarmed son on February 26, 2012. They contend Zimmerman profiled Martin, and that the neighborhood watch volunteer pursued and confronted the black teenager when he did not deserve to be shot.

Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. His trial is scheduled to begin on July 10.

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