The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the FBI announced this evening that they will open an investigation into the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was unarmed when he was killed last month. The story of Martin’s killing has garnered national attention, and over 435,000 people, including Spike Lee and Wyclef Jean, signed a petition on Change.org calling for the prosecution of Martin’s shooter, George Zimmerman.
Update: A grand jury will also investigate the shooting beginning April 10, State Attorney Norm Wolfinger announced on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Martin’s 16-year-old girlfriend has come forward to say she was on the phone with him moments before he was shot, with phone records confirming that the two spoke five minutes before police showed up. ABC News reports:
“He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man,” Martin’s friend said. “I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run.”
Eventually he would run, said the girl, thinking that he’d managed to escape. But suddenly the strange man was back, cornering Martin.
“Trayvon said, ‘What, are you following me for,’ and the man said, ‘What are you doing here.’ Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the head set just fell. I called him again and he didn’t answer the phone.”
The line went dead. Besides screams heard on 911 calls that night as Martin and Zimmerman scuffled, those were the last words he said.