"I feel like it was all God's plan," he told conservative talk show host Sean Hannity in Zimmerman's first interview since the shooting.
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Sanford, FL, USA
"I do wish there was something, anything I could have done that wouldn't have put me in a position where I would have had to take a life," he said. "I do want to tell everyone I'm sorry that this happened. I hate to think that because of this incident, because of my actions, it has polarized, divided America. I'm truly sorry."
There were few surprises in the interview on Fox News. Zimmerman, with attorney Mark O'Mara sitting next to him, was calm, unemotional and accepted no responsibility for the violence that night.
"I am not a racist. I am not a murderer," he said.
He apologized again to Trayvon's parents.
"I would tell them that again I'm sorry. I don't have, my wife and I don't have any children. … I am sorry that they buried their child. I can't imagine what it must feel like, and I pray for them daily," he said.
Zimmerman, 28, killed the unarmed black teenager on a sidewalk not far from where Trayvon was staying Feb. 26.
The site was a few blocks from Zimmerman's town home. He told Sanford police he killed Trayvon in self-defense after the teenager knocked him to the ground and began pounding his head into a sidewalk.
Prosecutors say he's guilty of profiling, that he assumed Trayvon was about to commit a crime, began following him and then murdered him.
"I just think it's a tragic situation," Zimmerman told Hannity. "I hope it's the most difficult thing I'll ever go through in my life."
He was troubled by all the media attention, he said.
"It's surreal," he said. "I don't like that they've rushed to judgment the way they have."
Hannity also asked Zimmerman about allegations from a young woman who claims he sexually molested her when the two were children. The improper touching began, the unidentified woman said, when she was 6 and ended when she was 16.
The woman, who also accused Zimmerman of disliking black people, said Zimmerman was about two years older than her.
Zimmerman did not directly address the molestation claim.
It is ironic that the only witness who says he's a racist, Zimmerman said, also claims he molested her.
Although the shooting has prompted a great deal of public debate about Florida's Stand Your Ground statute, which allows someone with a reasonable fear of death or great bodily injury to use deadly force, Zimmerman said he had never heard of it before the shooting.