A friend of George Zimmerman, the man who shot unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., told ABC News today that the voice heard howling on the tape of a 911 call was Zimmerman's, not the teen's.
The man, a black friend of the family who spoke to Zimmerman tonight, told ABC News that Zimmerman was weeping for days after the shooting, which sparked protests across the country, and he insisted that Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, is not a racist.
"We wanted to come forward because allegations of racism just aren't true. His friends speak highly of him," said attorney Greg Sonner, who has been representing Zimmerman for two weeks.
Zimmerman's friend said that the howls heard on the 911 call, which helped galvanize the nation against Zimmerman, in fact belonged to Zimmerman, not Martin.
A witness who saw Martin on top of Zimmerman told ABC News the same: the pleas for help were Zimmerman's.
Zimmerman left a voicemail on his friend Frank Taafe's phone, saying, "And I appreciate it, and you're truly setting an example for me for the future of, uh, doing the right thing even when it's tough, and, uh, I appreciate it. I'll talk to you soon. Thanks."
Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watchman, is in hiding, afraid for his life, but ready to speak to investigators, Sonner told ABC News today. He said that unlike the police, he knows Zimmerman's whereabouts.
"I do know where he is and if he needs to present himself to police he would do so today," Sonner said.
Police have told ABC News that they have Zimmerman's contact information but not his location because he has not been charged with any crime. Sonner said police have been in touch with Zimmerman, and Zimmerman is cooperating with the police.
"He is stressed and concerned about his safety. He has been vilified by the entire United States," said Sonner.
The Black Panthers have put a $10,000 bounty for Zimmerman's capture, and demonstrators across the country, from high school students to celebrities to the entire Miami Heat basketball team, are clamoring for his arrest.
"Facts will come out and show that Zimmerman was acting in self defense," said Sonner, but he refused to elaborate.
Martin, a 17-year-old black youth, was carrying only a bag of Skittles, iced tea and his cell phone, when Zimmerman allegedly killed him on Feb. 26.
While Martin's family has repeatedly called for Zimmerman's arrest, Sanford police accepted Zimmerman's claim that the shooting was in self defense.