TODAY   |  May 17, 2012

‘Intermediate range’ shot killed Trayvon Martin

The autopsy report on Trayvon Martin shows he died from a single gunshot wound to the chest fired from “intermediate range.” The official report also found Martin had a small abrasion on his left ring finger below the knuckle. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports.

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>>> nbc news now has reviewed an autopsy report that reveals more about the death of trayvon martin during his encounter with george zimmerman . now the teen's parents are calling for the release of all the evidence in this case. nbc 's kerry sanders is in daytona beach , florida, this morning. kerry, good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning, matt. trayvon martin's parents have not seen the medical examiner's report that was prepared here. but the fact that others have, including nbc news, has their attorney telling nbc news that it's enough. they now want all of the documents released. benjamin crump tells nbc news that they want full transparency of all the records because anything short of that is manipulation. when george zimmerman shot and killed trayvon martin, the state attorney first concluded there would be no charges. and key to his decision was the medical examiner's report examine was completed nearly three weeks after the shooting. the very same report was viewed by the special prosecutor who charged zimmerman in april. while the multipage autopsy is sealed by court order , nbc news was given access to read it. it says, in part, the teenager was killed by a penetrating gunshot wound to the chest, the entrance wound located on his left chest 17 inches below the head. the single bullet passed directly from the front to the back, through his lungs, creating perforations. the only injuries to trayvon martin are from the gunshot and to one knuckle, a quarter inch to one-eighth inch abrasion on the fourth finger in the ring area. trayvon's gunshot wound entrance of intermediate range. how close was that? the medical examiner's report says there was a soot ring abrasion and a two-inch by two-inch area of stippling. this is a gunshot residue expert and the chief medical examiner in bekxar, texas.

>> it's emerging from the muzzle of the gun. based on the size of the pattern, the range was most likely between two and four inches.

>> reporter: usually in florida, the medical examiner's report and the recently revealed medical records that show george zimmerman likely had a broken nose and black eyes , all of those reports and more would be part of the public record . but in this case, a unique effort to prevent the release of records has resulted in selective leaks, the sort that trayvon martin's family lawyer says could be designed to taint a jury pool.

>> what i think is more of a question is the leak of the information, what it's purported to prove.

>> reporter: zimmerman 's defense attorney , mark o'mara, will not speak out on the information contained in the leaked report but says that 67 cds filled with investigative notes are shaping his defense.

>> if the evidence supports it, certainly we'll look into filing stand your ground and whatever other motions may be appropriate.

>> reporter: while both the defense and prosecution said they wanted these reports sealed to protect all of the witnesses' names, many legal observers say it appears these leaks are simply strategic. matt?