It’s been more than three weeks since a Miami-Dade teenager was shot dead while visiting with family members near Orlando. A crime-watch volunteer is being investigated after authorities say he shot Trayvon Martin in the chest. Outraged family members are calling for justice — and are speaking openly about their loss.
Police say seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was walking to a Sanford 7-11 to buy some snacks. But on his way to the store, George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain began to follow him.
Trayvon was African-American, stood six foot three inches tall, and weighed about 140 pounds. He was wearing a hoody. Twenty-eight year-old Zimmerman called police and reported Trayvon as a “suspicious person”.
And here’s where details get sketchy. Police say a fight broke out between Zimmerman and Trayvon. Zimmerman shot the 17-year-old in the chest with a nine-millimeter handgun.
Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, says the family has lost faith in the Sanford police department. They say they don’t understand why Zimmerman hasn’t been charged yet.
“It seems to us that they are protecting Zimmerman and we don’t know why,” Fulton says. “We feel like Trayvon is the victim. And we need the protection.”
His mother describes Trayvon as a happy, outgoing, and energetic teenager. She says he was an average student — but did not go to parties, do drugs or have problems with the police.
Other family members say he was an athletic teenager with a passion for aviation — an interest he shared with his uncle, who became disabled after a car accident. Trayvon was encouraged to take classes at the George T. Baker Aviation School.
“So his uncle pushed him … forced him … put pressure on him because he thought it would be good for him and this is was something Tray wanted to do, to participate in this program.”
Trayvon’s Mom says he loved to eat anything and everything — especially fried chicken. She says the first thing he would do when he got home from school was eat. He also participated in wrestling, football and basketball. When he died, he was found with a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea in his pocket.
He also enjoyed horse-back riding in Davie, swimming and babysitting younger cousins. He would spend any free time he had with family. One routine the family had was going to church every Sunday morning. Trayvon especially enjoyed going to church … because it always meant going out to eat afterwards.
Activists are planning a larger rally for March 26 at the Sanford City Council meeting if charges are not filed on the case.