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Trayvon Martin shooting: George Zimmerman has ties to Manassas

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Earlier in the week, the federal agency opened a civil rights probe into the shooting, and in Florida, Seminole County State Attorney Norm Wolfinger said a grand jury will meet April 10 to consider evidence in the case.

George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin shooter, has ties to Manassas. He is shown here in his high school photo. (Photo: Associated Press)

"We are pleased the Department of Justice has heeded our calls and agreed to investigate this outrageous case," Jealous said in an emailed statement Tuesday.

"The rules of justice in this nation have failed when an innocent teenage boy can be shot to death by a vigilante and no arrest is made for weeks."

At the town hall meeting, more than 350 people packed into the Allen Chapel AME Church.

People jumped to their feet and cheered when local NAACP leader Turner Clayton Jr. said the federal Justice Department should not only review the investigation but also take over the Sanford Police Department.

Other civil rights leaders said the city's police chief should step down. "This is just the beginning of what is taking place," Clayton said. "We're going to make sure justice prevails."

When The Associated Press tried to reach the police department Tuesday evening for comment, a dispatcher told a reporter to call in the morning.

Earlier Tuesday, an attorney for Martin's family revealed the teenager told his girlfriend just moments before he was killed that he was being followed.

"'Oh he's right behind me, he's right behind me again,'" 17-year-old Trayvon Martin told his girlfriend on his cellphone, attorney Benjamin Crump said.

The girl later heard Martin say, "Why are you following me?" Another man asked, "What are you doing around here?'" Crump said.

Crump told reporters Tuesday Martin cried out when a man bearing a 9mm handgun came at him.

Police said Zimmerman, who was found bleeding from his nose and the back of his head, told authorities he yelled out for help before shooting Martin.

"She absolutely blows Zimmerman's absurd self-defense claim out of the water," Crump said of Martin's girlfriend, whose name was withheld.

Martin, who was in town from Miami to visit his father in Sanford, called his 16-year-old girlfriend in Miami several times on Feb. 26, including just before the shooting, Crump said.

The discovery of the lengthy conversations, including one moments before the shooting, was made over the weekend by Martin's father, who checked his son's cell phone log, Crump said.

The teenager told the girl on his way back from the store he'd taken shelter from the rain briefly at an apartment building in his father's gated community, Crump said.

Martin then told her he was being followed and would try to lose the person, Crump said.

"She says: 'Run.' He says, 'I'm not going to run, I'm just going to walk fast,'" Crump said, quoting the girl.

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