The killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a black youth shot dead by a self-appointed neighborhood watchman in Florida, continues to spark conversation about how such a shooting took place.
Carlos Gutierrez, a neighborhood watchman in Newhall, was at a loss for words when he first heard the news about the Trayvon Martin shooting.
“It is very unfortunate that someone felt that they had to walk around in their neighborhood carrying a loaded weapon,” Gutierrez said….
The unarmed teenager was shot dead on February 26 as he walked to the home of his father’s girlfriend in Sanford, Florida, having visited a nearby convenience store.
Martin was being trailed by George Zimmerman, 28, who told a 911 operator that the youth was acting suspicious.
“When you walk around with a loaded weapon,” Gutierrez said. “You are either looking to be one of two things, you are looking to be a good guy or you are looking to be a bad guy there is really no other way about it.”
In a disputed circumstance, the pair became involved in a confrontation and a physical fight, which culminated in Zimmerman pulling out a handgun and shooting the teenager dead.
“Mr. Zimmerman did call in and report it,” Gutierrez said. “Where I think he went wrong is he went past that when the police department told him to stand off and wait for them to arrive. This is where things really went wrong. He took matters into his own hands and confronted the individual.” He continued, “They always tell us here never to take matters into your own hands, you are not to confront the individual.”
Zimmerman was eventually arrested in early April and charged with second-degree murder.
The shooter has pleaded not guilty and is currently out of jail on a $150,000 bond and living at an undisclosed location.
“Once a tragedy happens you can’t take it back,” Gutierrez said…. “Bullets do not have remote controls. They are going to end up wherever they are going to end up.”