SANFORD, Fla.— – Trayvon Martin, the boy whose death has sparked a national outcry, hit his shooter in the face and left him bloodied and battered on the sidewalk, according to a new report from the Orlando Sentinel.
That is the account the shooter, George Zimmerman, 28, gave police, and, according to the Sentinel, authorities say much of it has been corroborated by witnesses.
The report is the latest in emerging details in the case of Trayvon, a 17-year-old unarmed black teenager fatally shot in Florida by Zimmerman, a Latino neighborhood watch captain, that has the teen's parents and Zimmerman's friends speaking out.
Joe Oliver is a long time friend of Zimmerman, who is half Peruvian, and has known the shooter for six years. His wife is very friendly with Zimmerman's mother in law, and he spoke out on America's Newsroom on Fox News on Monday.
"I've been trying to get in touch with George ever since this started, realizing he was going to need help," Oliver said. "Particularly with dealing with the media."
Oliver had a brief conversation with Zimmerman in an attempt to validate what the shooter's family had told him. Oliver told America's Newsroom that he believed the reports about Zimmerman chasing Trayvon Martin with a gun are false.
"He was doing the right thing," Oliver said. "When the evidence comes out everyone is going to find out that is so far from the truth."
He said details were still sketchy as to what happened from the time Zimmerman emerged from his car, and the time he was face to face with Trayvon Martin and the gun went off.
"And that's the hole that has to be filled and that's the information that the police have as far as the evidence they have gathered and will present to the grand jury," Oliver said.
When Fox News anchor Martha McCallum questioned Oliver about whether the gun may have gone off accidentally Oliver responded, "There is a very real possibility of that."
Speaking on ABC's "Good Morning America," Oliver said Zimmerman is not a racist and has virtually lost his own life since the shooting.
"This is a guy who thought he was doing the right thing at the time and it's turned out horribly wrong," Oliver said.
On NBC's "Today" show, Oliver said he had spoken with Zimmerman's mother-in-law, who said Zimmerman was remorseful.
"I learned that he couldn't stop crying for days after the shooting," Oliver said.
Both Oliver and Craig Sooner, an attorney speaking for Zimmerman, said there is other evidence that hasn't come out that shows Zimmerman was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed Trayvon last month.
The shooting in a gated community near Orlando has sparked widespread outrage, with many calling for Zimmerman's arrest.
Martin was returning to his father's fiancée's home from a convenience store when Zimmerman started following him, telling police dispatchers he looked suspicious. At some point, the two got into a fight and Zimmerman pulled out his gun.
Zimmerman's father is white and his mother is Peruvian.
Family: pot linked to Trayvon Martin suspension
Also Monday, a family spokesman said Trayvon was suspended from school last month for having a baggie that contained marijuana residue in his book bag.
Spokesman Ryan Julison says Trayvon's parents believe the suspension has nothing to do with his killing..
The 17-year-old Martin was visiting the central Florida town of Sanford while he was suspended by Miami-Dade schools. He was unarmed.
Also Monday, state Department of Juvenile Justice confirmed that Trayvon does not have a juvenile offender record. The information came after a public records request by The Associated Press.
Mother: Police in Fla. demonizing slain son
Meanwhile, Trayvon's mother says authorities are trying to demonize her son by leaking information to the news media that marijuana was the reason for his suspension from school.
Sybrina Fulton said Monday that unnamed investigators were trying to destroy her 17-year-old son's reputation. Sanford police say it's possible the information was leaked to the media, but it was not authorized.
The attorney for the Martin family says the suspension has no bearing on whether neighborhood watch volunteer Zimmerman should be charged for fatally shooting Trayvon.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.