Trayvon Martin threatened and beat George Zimmerman, Zimmerman's father said tonight in an exclusive interview on WOFL-Channel 35.
"Trayvon Martin said something to the effect of 'you're going to die now' or 'you're going die tonight,' " Robert Zimmerman told WOFL's Valerie Boey. "He continued to beat George, and at some point, George pulled his pistol and did what he did."
But Robert Zimmerman said his son lost sight of Trayvon and went looking for an address to give police. Trayvon later approached George Zimmerman, punched him in the nose, knocked him to the ground and started beating him, Robert Zimmerman told WOFL.
ABC News has aired footage of George Zimmerman being taken in for questioning on the night of the shooting. At one point, an officer checks the back of Zimmerman's head for injuries.
WOFL anchor Bob Frier noted it was the first time someone from the Zimmerman family had given a TV interview about the tragedy in Sanford.
Robert Zimmerman decried what he saw as hate coming from President Barack Obama, the Congressional Black Caucus and the NAACP. "I just hope at one point everyone will go beyond the hate that they have," Zimmerman's father said.
Robert Zimmerman, a retired judge from Virginia, said his son was color-blind on the issue of race. Robert Zimmerman asked WOFL not to show his face because he has received thousands of death threats, Boey said.
WKMG-Channel 6 tonight offered an interview with a neighbor who described George Zimmerman as caring and concerned. "I would never guess that he was racist or violent in any way," the woman said. "We've had many conversations about the constant break-ins ... and he never, ever mentioned color in a negative way. Ever."
WKMG did not show the neighbor's face, either.