George Zimmerman, the man accused of killing unarmed teen Trayvon Martin, says he's not a racist or a murderer.
Zimmerman, who sat down with Fox News host Sean Hannity in his first nationally televised interview that aired Wednesday night, recalled the events of February 26 that led to Martin's shooting.
Zimmerman said he followed Martin that night because he looked suspicious.
"I felt like he was suspicious because it was rainy. He was cutting in-between houses, and he was walking very leisurely for the weather," he said. "It didn't look like he was a resident that went to check his mail and got caught in the rain and ran back home. He didn't look like a fitness fanatic who would train in the rain."
Zimmerman said he stopped following Martin at one point so he could meet up with police who had been called to the scene. Zimmerman said that was when he was confronted by Martin.
"He asked me what my problem was," Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman said as he reached into his pocket for his phone to call 911, he looked up and Martin punched him in the nose, breaking it.
"He started bashing my head into the concrete sidewalk. As soon as he broke my nose, I started yelling for help. I was disoriented," Zimmerman said.
At one point, Zimmerman said Martin told him that he was going to die. Zimmerman told police he shot the teen in self-defense.
Zimmerman, who faces second-degree murder charges, brushed aside notions that the shooting was racially motivated.
"I'm not a racist. I'm not a murderer," he said.
Zimmerman said he didn't have any regrets about following Martin that fateful night or having a gun.
"I feel it was all God's plan," he said.
Zimmerman also apologized to Martin's parents about the situation.
"My wife and I don't have any children. I have nephews that I love more than life. I love them more than myself. And I know when they were born, it was a different unique bond and love that I have with them," he said. "And I love my children even though that they aren't born yet.
"I am sorry that they buried their child. I can't imagine what it must feel like. And I pray for them daily," Zimmerman said.
Martin's family appeared on TV the day after the interview aired. Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mother, said it was "ridiculous" to hear Zimmerman say the incident was God's plan.
"God did not have a plan for Trayvon to die and for George Zimmerman to shoot Trayvon for no reason," she said.
Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Martin's family, said after hearing the interview that Zimmerman's credibility is "completely in question."
Zimmerman said when he was in solitary confinement, he had time to think and reflect about the shooting.
"I just think it’s a tragic situation. I hope it’s the most difficult thing I’ll ever go through in my life," he said.
The former neighborhood watch volunteer has been free on $1 million bond since early July. He was originally granted bail in April, then later had it revoked after a judge found Zimmerman and his wife Shellie failed to disclose more than $150,000 in donations from the public among their assets.
When Hannity pressed Zimmerman on the bail donations, attorney Mark O'Mara requested that Zimmerman not address the issue because Shellie Zimmerman faces charges related to the bond situation and his client could also face charges.
Zimmerman said he wished he could have done something that wouldn't have put him in a position where he had to take Martin's life.
"I hate to think that because of this incident, because my actions, it's polarized and divided America. And I'm truly sorry," he said.