UPDATE: George Zimmerman is in police custody and has been charged with second-degree murder, according to numerous reports from Florida.
George Zimmerman will be charged in February’s shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey will announce the charges at 6 p.m. ET, according to The Washington Post.
Martin’s death set off a social media firestorm after the 17-year-old’s parents set up a Change.org petition to prosecute Zimmerman in their son’s death. Immediately after the news of Zimmerman’s imminent charge, his name became a trending topic on Twitter.
— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) April 11, 2012
Finally, George Zimmerman will be arrested & charged..#justicefortrayvon
— Emma Penny (@BarDivaz) April 11, 2012
Will George Zimmerman turn himself in after he’s charged or will there a nationwide manhunt? I think manhunt.
— Christopher Dunn (@DenverDunn) April 11, 2012
Zimmerman, a local neighborhood watch captain, was patrolling the housing development where he lived when he spotted Martin. Zimmerman called 911 to report a “real suspicious” looking person, and police dispatched a patrol car and told Zimmerman not to pursue Martin.
He ignored that request, and the two were entangled in a physical altercation which ended when Zimmerman shot and killed Martin.
Thanks to Florida’s so-called “Stand Your Ground” law, Zimmerman wasn’t arrested. The law allows lethal force to be used in situations when a person believes he’s in mortal danger.
On Monday, special prosecutor Corey announced there would be no grand jury, putting the decision to pursue the case entirely in her hands.
Zimmerman’s former lawyers held a press conference Tuesday afternoon, announcing they no longer worked for Zimmerman because they lost contact with him.
“You can stop looking in Florida,” one of the attorneys told reporters. “Look much further away than that.”
They added that Zimmerman had spoken with Fox News host Sean Hannity, who later confirmed the two had spoken but wouldn’t reveal details of the discussion.