By Lateef Mungin, CNN
A medical report by George Zimmerman’s family doctor shows the neighborhood watch volunteer was diagnosed with a fractured nose, two black eyes and two lacerations on the back of the head after his fatal confrontation with Trayvon Martin.
The medical exam, which was taken a day after Zimmerman’s February 26 altercation with the unarmed 17 year-old teen, says Zimmerman suffered a “closed fracture” of his nose, according to two sources who have detailed knowledge of the investigation.
Zimmerman, 28, is accused of killing Martin as the teen walked back to the Sanford, Florida, house where he was staying from a convenience store.
While Zimmerman supporters have characterized him as a well-meaning watch volunteer who was only trying to protect his community, Martin’s family and supporters have said the white Hispanic man unfairly profiled Martin as a troublemaker just because Martin was an African-American teenager walking down the street wearing a hoodie.
Zimmerman faces a second-degree murder charge in the case that has gripped the country, caused nationwide protests and has shined a light on race relations and gun laws in Florida.
He has acknowledged shooting Martin but claims it was in self-defense. He has entered a not guilty plea in the case, which has not yet been scheduled for trial.
After the shooting, Zimmerman told police that Martin rushed him after they exchanged words, knocked him to the ground and repeatedly hit his head against the concrete sidewalk.
The medical report appears to lend support to Zimmerman’s claims. It also mirrors earlier statements made by Zimmerman’s father, brother and lawyer.
Robert Zimmerman Jr., Zimmerman’s brother, spoke of the medical reports in a March interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan.
“We’re confident the medical records are going to explain all of George’s medical history,” Robert Zimmerman Jr. said at the time. “You return force with force when somebody assaults you. George was out of breath, he was barely conscious. George (would have been) dead if he had not acted decisively and instantaneously in that moment.”
The Martin family has questions about the medical report, said Benjamin Crump, the family attorney.
“The family has very strong positions about this family physician’s report that was done the next day,” Crump said. “What we do know is on February 26, the ER personnel did not believe his injuries were significant enough for him to go to the hospital. They didn’t even put a Band-Aid on his head. That’s important.”
Also Tuesday, CNN affiliate WFTV reported that Martin’s autopsy showed the teen had injuries to his knuckles when he died.
That evidence could also support the theory that Martin and Zimmerman fought.
Crump also responded to that report Tuesday night.
“He was fighting for his life,” Crump told Anderson Cooper. “Let’s not forget that Trayvon Martin was fighting a man with a 9-millimeter gun. We also have to remember that he didn’t start this fight. George Zimmerman got out his car and pursued Trayvon Martin.”
On the night of the shooting, Zimmerman had called 911 to complain about a suspicious person in the neighborhood, according to authorities.
In the call, Zimmerman said he was following Martin after the teen started to run, prompting the dispatcher to tell him, “We don’t need you to do that.”
Zimmerman apparently disregarded that advice.
Sanford police initially declined to arrest Zimmerman, saying there was no evidence to contradict Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense under Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which allows people to use deadly force anywhere they feel a reasonable threat of serious injury or death.
After weeks of protests demanding his arrest, a special prosecutor appointed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott filed the second-degree murder charge against Zimmerman.
He was arrested April 11 and briefly jailed. He has returned to hiding after his release on $150,000 bond.
— CNN’s Marylynn Ryan contributed to this report.