The Corner

Autopsy Report: Trayvon Martin Was Shot at Very Close Range

Lending yet more credence to the theory that there was a fight between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman prior to the shot being fired – a hypothesis boosted yesterday by Benjamin Crump, the Martin family’s attorney, who claimed that Martin was “fighting for his life” when he died — the Orlando Sentinel reports that:

Trayvon’s autopsy showed that he died of a shot to the heart and that the gun was so close, it had left gunpowder burns on his skin.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement firearms expert Amy Siewert examined Trayvon’s gray sweat shirt and gray hoodie for powder burns and wrote that she found them on both garments, prompting her to conclude that the muzzle of the gun was touching them when Zimmerman pulled the trigger.

The Volusia County Medical Examiner’s Office found just one other injury on Trayvon’s body: a small “abrasion” on one finger of his left hand. It also found THC — the active chemical in marijuana — in Trayvon’s blood and urine.

This, of course, still leaves wide open the question of who was ultimately to blame. And Crump’s line, in the face of the new evidence, is that “whatever happened was because George Zimmerman made his decision to profile and pursue Trayvon Martin.” Whether or not that is true remains to be seen but, as I noted yesterday, “if there was a fight, it puts to rest the notion that Zimmerman hunted him down in cold blood, as some have suggested. After all, an unarmed person cannot ‘fight’ a ‘man with a 9-millilmeter gun’ for more than a fraction of a second.”

And, certainly, if the gunshot was fired from such close range after a tussle, it renders highly unlikely the conjecture from some quarters that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin dead without any provocation at all.

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