Culler of black youths, charmer of ladies, and copier of stock photos George Zimmerman acknowledged in a new interview that everything would be "tremendously easier" for him if he hadn't shot a hole in Trayvon Martin and watched the young man's life force bleed out of it.
Technically, Zimmerman admits to CNN's Chris Cuomo in the interview that he regrets nothing, since he fears regrets might be used against him in a federal civil rights case. But Zimmerman does think that everything would be better—for him, for "my family, all families that have been put in any type of dangerous situation"—if he had stayed home that fateful night, so that Martin "probably wouldn't have ended up attacking me" and forfeiting his own short life.
Cuomo: Do you regret that you killed Trayvon Martin?
[Cuomo in voice over: It's a simple question. But one George Zimmerman can't seem to answer.]
Zimmerman: Unfortunately, the Department of Justice is conducting a civil rights investigation. So those are the types of questions that because of the investigation I have to tread lightly and I can't answer any of them.
[Cuomo voice over: We checked and the Department of Justice is investigating any civil rights violations, but says charges aren't expected. Still, Zimmerman's reluctance seems to be about more than legalities.]
Cuomo: Do you regret that night? Do you have regrets about it?
Zimmerman: Certainly I think about that night, I think my life would be tremendously easier if I had stayed home.
Cuomo: If you could could go back you would have stayed home that night.
Zimmerman: Certainly. Absolutely.
Cuomo: And now as a point of clarification, you said 'My life would be so much easier.' When you say 'I wish I had stayed home that night,' are you thinking about you, and also Trayvon Martin?
Zimmerman: Uh, certainly I think about them— uh, him— I think about my family, all families that have been put in any type of dangerous situation. Um. So yes, I think about everybody involved.
Cuomo: But it's safe to say, if you could change how that night came out, you would both be alive today?
Zimmerman: [pauses] I think that's just a different way of rephrasing it...
Cuomo: If you could go back and do it again, you had said, you would've stayed home—
Zimmerman: I would've stayed home.
Cuomo: —so that both of you would still be alive today.
Zimmerman: [shakes head] Uh, that's a presumption I can't make. I dunno what would've happened—I could've got in a car accident while I was, you know, so—
Cuomo: You wouldn't have wound up killing Trayvon Martin if you'd had your way.
Zimmerman: He probably wouldn't have ended up attacking me. I learned. If I'd stayed home. I know.