On Friday morning, Tracy Martin revealed that his son Trayvon had saved his life when the boy was only 9 years old.
Martin and his wife Sybrina Fulton appeared on CBS This Morning to discuss their ongoing fight for justice on behalf of their son, Trayvon, who was shot to death by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman. The shooter has not yet been arrested.
The incident has elicited outrage from people all across the country. On Thursday, over 8,000 people attended a rally at Fort Mellon Park in Trayvon's hometown of Sanford, Fla. Civil rights activist Al Sharpton headlined at the event.
During their CBS interview on Friday, Tracy Martin recalled a house fire years ago that had put his family's lives in danger. Trayvon, he said, was his hero.
At the age of 9, he pulled me out of a fire, went back in the house, got the phone, came back out, called 911, said Martin. He saved my life.
Martin went on to describe his son's character. Trayvon loved his life. He loved his family. Very upbeat kid, mild, laid back. Never been in a run-in. Never had any run-ins with the law. Trayvon was a people's person.
Fulton revealed that Trayvon respected authority, and may have inherited that trait from law enforcement officials in his lineage.
Trayvon has a grandfather that is a retired police officer in Miami, so he knows to respect authority. He knows about the police; he's not afraid of the police, she said. However, he's seen [Zimmerman] as a stranger, so of course he's going to try to run. He's going to try to get away. He's going to try and avoid any situation.
On February 26, Zimmerman had called 911 when he first saw 14-year-old Trayvon walking in his neighborhood. Something's wrong with him, he said during the recorded call.
Despite advice to the contrary from the 911 dispatcher, Zimmerman followed the teen with a loaded weapon. Trayvon was unarmed, carrying only his cell phone and a snack purchased from the local convenience store. The teenager ran, and Zimmerman pursued. After a brief altercation, Trayvon was shot to death.
Zimmerman claimed self-defense, and due to Florida's controversial stand your ground law, he has not yet been prosecuted.