MIRAMAR, Fla. (AP) -- The parents of the unarmed black U.S. teen who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer rejected the shooter's claim that the death was a part of God's plan.
In an interview with Fox News televised Wednesday, George Zimmerman said he felt the course of the night 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was killed "was all God's plan."
"We must worship a different God," Martin's father, Tracy Martin, told The Associated Press. "There is no way that my God wanted George Zimmerman to murder my teenage son."
The shooting in February led to weeks of nationwide protests over race and self-defense laws as police didn't arrest Zimmerman for more than month. Zimmerman now faces a charge of second-degree murder. He claims Martin attacked him and has pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense under Florida's "stand your ground" law.
The Fox News interview was Zimmerman's first lengthy television interview and was conducted at an undisclosed location in Florida, where he must remain under conditions of his release on $1 million bail.
Zimmerman said he'd like to talk with Martin's parents about what happened.
"Absolutely not," the teen's mother, Sybrina Fulton, said in response Thursday on NBC's "Today" show.
Zimmerman said he would like to tell Martin's parents he was sorry about the teen's death.
"I can't imagine what it must feel like. And I pray for them daily," he said.
When asked what he meant when he told a police dispatcher he was following Martin, Zimmerman said he was trying to keep an eye on Martin to tell police.
Whether Zimmerman was the aggressor plays a major role in his self-defense claim.
Zimmerman said he looked down to try to find his cellphone and when he looked up, Martin punched him and broke his nose. Then, he said, Martin straddled him and started slamming his head down.
"He started bashing my head into the concrete sidewalk. I was disoriented," Zimmerman said, adding that it was at that point he began to fear for his life -- another key element in his self-defense claim.
He said as the two were struggling, Martin said "you're going to die tonight." Zimmerman said he yelled out for help multiple times -- shouts captured on emergency calls by local residents.
Martin's parents have said they believe it was their son who was yelling for help.
Zimmerman also said racial profiling had nothing to do with the confrontation.
"I'm not a racist and I'm not a murderer," he said.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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