George Zimmerman’s brother Robert Zimmerman Jr. told Piers Morgan Thursday night his brother was faced with a kill-or-be-killed scenario in his February 26 struggle with 17-year-old Trayvon Martin before he fatally shot him.
“He prevented his firearm from being taken from him and used against him -- and that's called saving your life,” Zimmerman Jr. told Morgan, a night after his father Robert Zimmerman told Fox’s Orlando outlet “that Trayvon Martin got on top of George and just started beating him.”
Zimmerman Jr. said, “What Trayvon said was, either to the effect of, I believe, ‘This is going to be easy, you die tonight or you have a piece, you die tonight.’ And then attempted to disarm him. So when you say, he had a bag of Skittles and an iced tea ... nobody just stood there with a bag of Skittles and iced tea.
“You return force with force when somebody assaults you.”
Zimmerman Jr. said his brother was close to unconsciousness in the moments prior to pulling the trigger which ended Trayvon’s life, sparking a national story with fiery elements of race, politics and law enforcement brought to the forefront.
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“George was out of breath ... his last thing he remembers doing was moving his head from the concrete to the grass, so that if he was banged one more time he wouldn't be -- you know, wearing diapers for the rest of his life and being spoon fed by his brother,” he said. “There would have been George dead had he not acted decisively and instantaneously in that moment.”
Zimmerman Jr. told Morgan he’s “confident the medical records are going to explain all of George's medical history," adding he’s sure Trayvon broke his brother's nose in the melee.
"It looks swollen in that video -- I'm his brother," he said.
The Zimmerman family, in the eye of the storm, has been the target of thousands of death threats in the wake of the shooting.
"I want, in the end, not for Trayvon’s memory to be seen as how we degraded our system and turned it into mob rule and went into a hate speech,” Zimmerman Jr. said. “Ultimately, we all wish that this was a different situation."
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