Three witnesses contacted by The Miami Herald say they saw or heard the moments before and after the Miami Gardens teenager’s killing. All three said they heard the last howl for help from a despondent boy, and believe the sequence of sounds shatters the notion that Trayvon was killed in self defense. …
“I heard someone crying – not boo-hoo crying, but scared or terrified or hurt maybe,” said Mary Cutcher, 31. “To me, it was a child.” …
“This was not self defense,” Cutcher said. “We heard no fighting, no wrestling, no punching. We heard a boy crying. As soon as the shot went off, it stopped, which tells me it was the child crying. If it had been Zimmerman crying, it wouldn’t have stopped. If you’re hurting, you’re hurting.”
She and her friend say they heard the sounds from a few steps away, where they were inside beside an open window. Seconds later, they dashed out to find a boy face down on the ground and a man standing over him, a foot on each side of the body on the ground, with his hands pinning the shooting victim down.
“I asked him, ‘What’s happening here? What’s going on?’ said Cutcher’s friend, who did not want her name published for fear for her safety. “The third time, I was indignant, and he said, ‘just call the police.’ Then I saw him with his hands over his head in the universal sign of: ‘Oh man, I messed up.’”
The women, who were the first on the scene, said they saw Zimmerman pacing back and forth. “I know what I heard. I heard a cry and a shot,” the second witness said. “If there was a fight, it did not happen here where the boy was shot. I would have heard it, as this all happened right outside my open window.”
The women think there may well have been a physical altercation between the two, but it must have taken place in a different spot, where Zimmerman perhaps had a chance to compose himself and draw his weapon.
Cutcher was one of eight or nine 911 callers that night but she said investigators dismissed her, and a detective failed follow up with her. Both women said police seemed very blasé.
A neighborhood eighth grader out walking his dog said his family also called 911.
“I saw someone lying on the ground, and I heard screaming,” said Austin, 13, whose mother asked that his last name not be published. “I don’t know that it was the person on the [ground] who was screaming, but to me it sounded like a kid who was crying. It was a yell for help, and I think it was Trayvon.”
Austin wasn’t sure if the person was in a fight or had slipped and gotten hurt. Austin’s Boxer puppy got off the leash so the boy went chasing after the dog and lost sight of the scene for a moment. Then, he heard a gun go off.
He ran home and told his sister to call the police.
The boy, who is black, has been rattled ever since. He feels angry and disconcerted, and wonders whether he’s at risk too.
“That people can stereotype like that makes you scared,” he said.
Austin’s mom said he’s been acting out in school and seems mad all the time.
“My son has a terrible feeling of guilt, because he did not do anything to help. He’s angry,” said Austin’s mother, Cheryl Brown. “They are saying that Trayvon looked suspicious, because he was walking slow. So I guess I have to tell my son: make sure you always run fast.”