2012-03-29 / Local & State

Fla. Shooting: Teen’s Friends Say He Wouldn’t Have Picked A Fight

MIAMI (AP) – Wearing a hoodie. Listening to music and talking on his cellphone. Picking up Skittles for his soon-to-be stepbrother. Friends say that's how they would have imagined 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on a Sunday afternoon.

Starting a fight? Possibly high on drugs and up to no good? No, friends say that description of Martin from the neighborhood crime-watch volunteer who shot and killed the unarmed black teenager doesn't match the young man they knew.

“There’s no way I can believe that, because he’s not a confrontational kid,” said Jerome Horton, who was one of Martin's former football coaches and knew him since he was about 5. “It just wouldn’t happen. That's just not that kid.”'

Martin was slain in the town of Sanford on Feb. 26 in a shooting that has set off a nationwide furor over race and justice. Neighborhood crime-watch captain George Zimmerman, whose father is white and mother is Hispanic, claimed selfdefense and has not been arrested, though state and federal authorities are still investigating.

Since his death, Martin's name and photographs – in football jerseys, smiling alongside a baby, and staring into the camera in a gray hoodie – have been held up by civil rights leaders and at rallies stretching from Miami to New York demanding Zimmerman's arrest.

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