Neighbor: Zimmerman stopped possible crime

NEED TO KNOW
  • Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida, February 26
  • George Zimmerman's neighbor says there's been eight burglaries in their neighborhood
  • Nancy Grace is on the case! HLN Monday night 8 p.m. ET
Neighbor: Zimmerman stopped possible crime

One of George Zimmerman's neighbors in Sanford, Florida, says a perfect storm of circumstances led to Trayvon Martin's shooting, including eight burglaries in the neighborhood in a little over a year.

Police say Martin was shot as he walked to his father's fiancée's house after going to the store for some Skittles and iced tea. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, told police he shot Martin in self-defense. Zimmerman has not been charged with a crime and remains free. 

Frank Taaffe, a resident of the Retreat at Twin Lakes, told CNN's Soledad O'Brien Tuesday that he did not condone using lethal force in this situation. Taaffe also said that Zimmerman's efforts as a neighborhood watch captain helped stop a possible burglary in progress at his home on February 2. 

HLN has confirmed that Sanford Police records show that Zimmerman did call police on February 2.

Zimmerman's complaint on the city's website from February 2 says, "Black male (leather jacket, black hat, printed PJ pants) keeps going to the residence which is owned by a white male. Black male subject in question was gone upon police arrival." The complaint also lists an address that matches Taaffee's residence.

Taaffe also claims that the eight burglaries in his neighborhood over a 13-month period have all been committed by black males. HLN has confirmed that Sanford Police reported eight burglaries in 395 days in the neighborhood. As a result, there are complaints against four black males. However, the remaining reports were for crimes with no witnesses and did not identify the suspects' race.

Taaffe's claims come after HLN affiliate WTVT interviewed another neighbor whose story about the events of February 26 is being told for the first time. He said Zimmerman suffered visible injuries to the back of his head -- a key assertion that has been vehemently challenged by Martin family supporters. "I saw George. He was banged up. His head had two big bandages, that weren't flat, had a bump on them," the neighbor, who did not want to be identified, told WTVT. 

"I seen him have a big bandage on his nose and his nose swollen. On the side, where his eyes were at, it was swollen," he told the TV station.

Taaffe also told CNN that he saw on the tape that Zimmerman sustained injuries, and was treated by emergency responders.

Police released a new, higher-resolution surveillance video of the neighborhood watch volunteer being ushered into the police station the night of Martin's death. The sharper footage shows what is apparently a bump, mark or injury on Zimmerman's head more clearly than a previously released video, which had a grainy quality.

Will there be an indictment in the Trayvon Martin shooting? All eyes are on the grand jury’s decision - And Nancy Grace is on the case! HLN Monday night 8 p.m. ET

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