They lead well with the wound:
Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin from a very close range, according to documents a Florida prosecutor released Thursday that indicate a hand-to-hand struggle occurred before the teenager was killed.
A lab report, based on an examination of the two sweatshirts Martin was wearing, found holes and gunshot residue consistent with a “contact shot,” meaning the gun was pressed against Martin’s chest. An autopsy report said that the gunshot wound indicated he was shot from an “intermediate range,” which experts say is between one and 18 inches away.
MSNBC saw a contradiction between contact with the sweatshirt and intermediate range with the skin, so I am glad that some members of the media can sort this out.
However, their attempt to create drama and a sense that Zimmerman was brandishing his weapon and threatening Martin is abysmal journalism:
The documents include new details about what witnesses said they heard and saw that dark, rainy night outside their townhouse windows. One witness told police that he heard someone saying, “I’ve got a gun. I’ve got a gun.”
That is what the witness said and we will accept that is reflecting what the witness heard. However, that was *after* Zimmerman fired the fatal shot, when he had his hands up and was identifying himself to the approaching police officer. In fact (p. 41) the full quote is "I've got a gun, I've got a gun. Take my gun from me". How did the WaPo miss that?
My understanding is that any concealed carry permit holder would endorse this approach - as a general rule, police don't like to be surprised to find a gun on someone. (Zimmerman still got cuffed, but he had to expect that.)
Comparably shameful is the mystery the WaPo creates around the question of who was heard screaming on the recorded 911 call:
Witness accounts indicate that in some cases, officers seemed to have rushed to judgment about one of the most critical questions in the case: who was screaming in the last seconds before the gunshot rang out.
One distraught witness, said she who regretted not helping the person yelling outside her window, said in her handwritten statement that an investigator tried to comfort her by saying that the cries for help “were not the person who died.”
A police report also concluded that the voice screaming in the background of a recorded 911 call placed by a resident was Zimmerman, “who was apparently yelling for help as he was being battered by Trayvon Martin.”
But an FBI audio analysis of that crucial call could not determine whether it was Martin or Zimmerman who was screaming, because of the poor quality of the recording and the “extreme emotional state” of the person screaming, an FBI report said.
Also included in the reports is an account of a meeting between an investigator and Tracy Martin two days after his son was shot. The investigator played the 911 call to Martin and asked him whether the voice calling for help was his son’s.
“Mr. Martin, clearly emotionally impacted by the recording, quietly responded no,” the report said.
But in the days and weeks after the shooting, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, the teenager’s mother, said they had no doubt that the screams were those of their son. In an interview with an investigator, Zimmerman’s father said, “That is absolutely, positively George Zimmerman yelling for help.”
What the WaPo fails to report is that the Sanford PD had a witness who was thirty feet from the action and was crystal clear that the white or Hispanic guy in red was on bottom, getting beaten by a black guy, and screaming for help (p. 38). This is "John", who spoke to the local Fox station the day after the shooting and told a similar story to the police.
Ye, witnesses get confused, but the police hardly leapt to the conclusion that Zimmerman was screaming for help.
And from another perspective, Zimmerman has the injuries of a guy in trouble who might well need help. What would have prompted Martin to be screaming?
That is misleading and incomplete reporting by the WaPo.