Complete Transcript, Serino Interview, 2/27/2012

This is a transcript of Detective Chris Serino’s first interview (pdf) of George Zimmerman early in the morning on 2/27/2012.

Update: Here’s the audio: audio_interview_0227

Serino: This is Investigator Serino of the Sanford Police Department. Today’s date is Monday, February the 27th, 2012. It’s now 12:05AM. I’m located at the Sanford Police Station, 815 West 13th Street, the City of Sanford, Seminole County, Florida. I’m presently in the room with George Zimmerman. Correct?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: Your date of birth sir?
Zimmerman: 10/5/83
Serino: Highest level of education?
Zimmerman: Ah, Associates.
Serino: OK you’ve been re….in what?
Zimmerman: Pardon?
Serino: In what?
Zimmerman: Criminal Justice.
Serino: OK. You’ve been read your rights correctly?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: You understand that you’re not quite free to go because we’re in the process of, but you’re not quite going to jail, that kind of stuff?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: I got the gist of it all, I’m gonna ask a quick question. This photograph right here that I’m showing you right here
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK, you recognize that face?
Zimmerman: No, sir.
Serino: OK, this is the person that was, had the incident with you today.
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK, that’s gonna be important for you to understand. I’ll show you bigger pictures later on. Uh, I don’t know who he is. OK, um, real briefly, I’m gonna give you what I got. OK? You were going to the store?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK and you saw somebody who you felt to be suspicious?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK, this suspicious person, you…because of the break-ins in the neighborhood you decided to call 911?
Zimmerman: No, sir, on the non-emergency line.
Serino: You called non-emergency?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK, the 665-6650. Or the other…
Zimmerman: 5199
Serino: OK, so you did the non-emergency. OK.
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: Um, you reported a suspicious person?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: You followed this person?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: You lost visual on this person?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: Where’d this whole thing start at?
Zimmerman: Um, Retreat View Circle in the…
Serino: OK, tomorrow, tomorrow morning daylight hours. Do you work?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: Where?
Zimmerman: Uh, Digital Risk, Maitland.
Serino: When do you get out, off work?
Zimmerman: 5 pm
Serino: OK, when do you start work?
Zimmerman: 9 am
Serino: 9 am. OK, um, 5 pm tomorrow when you get off work, when you get home, can you call me?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: So we can go ahead and walk through the scene entirely.
Zimmerman: I have class tomorrow.
Serino: OK
Zimmerman: Um, I can skip it.
Serino: Can you get a note? Who’s your instructor? Uh, what are you taking, I mean.
Zimmerman: Continuing for my bachelors.
Serino: In criminal justice? Which university?
Zimmerman: Political science. Um, SSC, the UCF partnership.
Serino: UCF Partnership. OK. Um, what time does class start?
Zimmerman: 6:30
Serino: We could probably do this in half an hour. OK. I wanna, I wanna retrace your path.
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK, and exactly what happened. Um, I wanna videotape this. Um, the difference between statutes and homicide and justifiable homicide and use of force, they’re, you’re aware of them, you have a degree, you’re familiar with what we’re talking about here, right?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK, um, you follow this person, this person, you lose sight of this person, you’re walking in the darkness out there…you have a flashlight?
Zimmerman: It was dead. I had one, but it was dead.
Serino: Uh, you had to hit it couple times, it’s on right now. So…
Zimmerman: Oh it is?
Serino: OK. Um, it’s probably like the one I have, you gotta smack it around a couple times. Um, this person jumped, jumped you from somewhere?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: From the darkness?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: Did he say anything to you?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: What did he say to you?
Zimmerman: When he came up to me, he said, “You got a problem?” and I said no. And then I went to reach for my phone to find my phone to call 911 instead of non-emergency.
Serino: OK.
Zimmerman: And then is when he punched me. He said, “You have a problem now.” And then he punched me in the face.
Serino: Oh, so he said, OK, you have a problem now. OK, he punched and you fell?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK, and you got injuries…where’d he punch you, in your face or your chest or where?
Zimmerman: In my face.
Serino: OK.
Zimmerman: My head, I mean all over my head.
Serino: OK, you been cleaned up already, cause Officer Smith said that you were pretty much battered when…
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK, um, he mouthed at you basically?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: And he started to beat up on you?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: At what point did you draw your weapon?
Zimmerman: After he hit my head against the concrete several times…
Serino: OK.
Zimmerman: I yelled out for help and then he tried to smother my mouth and my nose…
Serino: Who yelled for help?
Zimmerman: I did.
Serino: OK and at which point he did what?
Zimmerman: He smothered my mouth and my nose.
Serino: OK.
Zimmerman: And when he did that I tried to slide out and squirm…
Serino: Uh huh
Zimmerman: And I realized, um, my, my shirt came up and I felt him slide his hand toward my right side…
Serino: OK.
Zimmerman: And he said, “You’re gonna die, motherfucker”. And then that’s when I grabbed it. I, I don’t know if it was away from him or you know, I just, unholstered..
Serino: So, he was going for your gun?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: What kind of gun was it?
Zimmerman: A PF, a KelTec PF9.
Serino: 9mm?
Zimmerman: 9mm.
Serino: OK. Semi-automatic, correct?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK. What kind of ammunition?
Zimmerman: I think it was hollow point.
Serino: OK. Um…OK. What happened then?
Zimmerman: I shot him.
Serino: Were you able to unholster entirely, you cleared the holster and you shot him?
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: One time?
Zimmerman: One time.
Serino: When you shot him what happened?
Zimmerman: He kinda sat up and he said, “You got me.”
Serino: OK.
Zimmerman: And so I, I don’t remember if I pushed him or he fell, but somehow I got out from under him…
Serino: Uh huh.
Zimmerman: And when he was hitting me, I don’t know what he was hitting me with. I thought he had something in his hands…
Serino: Uh huh.
Zimmerman: So I grabbed his hands when I was on top of him and I spread his hands away from his body…
Serino: Uh huh.
Zimmerman: Cause he was still talking. And I was on top of him. And that’s when somebody came and they had a flashlight too…
Serino: Mm hmm.
Zimmerman: And I thought it was a police officer so I got off of him.
Serino: What was he saying when he was talking to you?
Zimmerman: I don’t know…after “You got me”… I don’t remember.
Serino: OK. If you, you’re gonna have anxiety over this and nightmares and everything else, so you’re probably gonna have a hard time with this whole thing. I’m here for that. Um, that’s all I can give between now until tomorrow. I can get you other kinds of help afterwards, OK? But you gotta go home and get some rest. Is there anything else you want to add? So in your mind’s eye this person was committing no good over there, you followed in good faith to go see what he was doing, he jumped you, he attacked you. OK, he reached for your gun, he discharged, you got off of him, you only shot once, police arrived, you surrendered and here you are.
Zimmerman: He told me he was gonna kill me.
Serino: Exactly, he said he was gonna kill you.
Zimmerman: Yes, sir.
Serino: OK. Anything else you wanna add? You’ve already been interviewed once so you probably don’t.
Zimmerman: No, sir.
Serino: OK, I’m gonna go ahead and clear this thing. It’s now 12:10.

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