Who was Trayvon Martin? Trayvon Martin was a 17-year-old African-American teen who was fatally shot in 2012 by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla. Martin was visiting family members who lived in the gated community and had been walking back from a nearby convenience store. He had Skittles and iced tea with him, and no weapon. When Zimmerman had called 911 to report a “suspicious” young man wearing a hoodie, the dispatcher advised him not to leave his car to follow Martin, but he did anyway.