George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman accused of murdering unarmed teen Trayvon Martin, told Fox News' Sean Hannity this week that he would not have changed the circumstances leading up to the shooting and that he viewed the entire incident as 'God's plan.'
Zimmerman, speaking with his lawyer Mark O'Mara at his side, was asked by Hannity whether he wished he had done anything differently.
'I do wish that there was something, anything I could have done that would have put me in the position that I wouldn't have to take his life,' Zimmerman told the conservative newsman. 'I'm sorry that this happened. I hate to think that because of this incident, because of my actions, that it's polarized and divided America.'
Earlier Hannity asked Zimmerman if he regretted carrying a gun or getting out of his car to follow Martin and he replied that he didn't.
'I feel that it was all God's plan, and for me to second guess it or judge it,' he said, suggesting the confrontation and shooting was divinely ordained, before trailing off.
Asked if there was anything he might do differently with hindsight he replied, 'No, sir.'
Zimmerman, 28, is currently out of jail on $1 million bond after being charged in April with second-degree murder for killing Martin on February 26 in Sanford, Florida.
Martin's family told ABC they were appalled and angered by his comments, saying their son's death was not God's plan.
'Zimmerman said that he does not regret getting out of his vehicle, he does not regret following Trayvon, in fact he does not regret anything that he did that night,' the family said in a statement through their attorney, Ben Crump. 'He wouldn't do anything different and he concluded it was God's plan.'
'We must worship a different God,' Tracy Martin, Trayvon Martin's father told ABC, 'because there is no way that my God would have wanted George Zimmerman to kill my teenage son.'
Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic, told Hannity he is particularly upset by the racial aspects of the case and media coverage that has followed it.
'I'm not a racist and I'm not a murderer,' he said.
Zimmerman claimed he became suspicious of Martin after spotting the black teen while on an evening errand for groceries. He said Martin didn't look like a resident or a fitness enthusiast out for a run.
He added that Martin spotted him and made movements toward his waistband, as if to suggest the teenager had a weapon.
'I was on the phone with a police dispatcher but I was certain I could see him saying something to me and his demeanor was confrontational,' Zimmerman said.
'He was skipping, going away quickly, but he wasn't running away out of fear,' Zimmerman told Hannity in a statement that conflicts with his earlier recorded description to police, when he said he didn't remember the manner in which Martin ran away.
Asked by the police dispatcher if he was following Martin, Zimmerman said he was.
'I meant that I was going in the same direction as him to keep an eye on him so I could tell the police where he was going,' Zimmerman told Hannity. 'I didn't mean that I was pursuing him.'
Zimmerman confessed to Hannity that he never intended to pursue the unarmed teen in defiance of the law enforcement dispatcher's insistence that, 'We don't need you to do that.'
Instead Zimmerman said he moved away on foot toward his own home to wait for police, when Martin surprised him.
'He asked me what my problem was,' Zimmerman said, adding that when he reached for his cell phone Martin punched him and broke his nose.
Zimmerman told Hannity: 'He started bashing my head into the concrete sidewalk. As soon as he broke my nose, I started yelling for help because I was disoriented and he started slamming my head into the concrete.'
Ambulance workers told a court that Zimmerman's head was covered in blood after the shooting, and that the lacerations on his head 'would probably need stitches.'
Meanwhile Zimmerman's lawyers have tried to establish that he might have thought he had suffered a 'life-threatening injury.'
Zimmerman said he moved toward the grass to avoid having his head hit the concrete. Martin, he says, was 'cursing, telling me to shut up and, finally, he told me he was going to kill me,' Zimmerman told Hannity. Then he claims that Martin saw his gun.
'He said, 'You're going to die tonight,' Zimmerman told Hannity. Zimmerman said he believed he felt Martin's hand moving for the gun, but Zimmerman reached it first. He pulled the trigger.
Zimmerman told Hannity he would like to take the opportunity to apologize to Martin's family.
'I would tell them that, again, I'm sorry,' he said. 'I am sorry that they buried their child. I can't imagine what it must feel like. And I pray for them daily,' he said.
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