I agree that there is no self defense argument for TM but in all honesty put yourself in his shoes.Yes, he could have called 911, but really are the police going to come to his rescue in a gated community that wasn't his in the middle of a rainy night, they would make the same assumptions as GZ did. I'm speaking as a younger guy, if I was minding my own business and somebody started following me, I would eventually attack him too.
TM was living there with his father's fiance, which was about 70 feet from where he was shot. The police were called there 402 times within the past 13 months prior. TM made the wrong decision not to simply run home (if he was scared), or call 911 (as GZ did). Instead, he confronted GM, and beat him. IMHO, they both made bad decisions, but the decisions they made would have been made by many other people too. GM was the neighborhood watch coordinator. Many communities take that seriously when there are as many problems as they had at that time. He thought TM looked suspicious poking around in the rain. Then TM came toward him (while he was talking to 911), then saw TM run away. GM told the police after he was told not to follow him, TM attacked him as he went back to his truck. If that is true, GM wasn't at fault at all. If it isn't true and he went toward TM, it would not have many any sense to start an indecent if he knew the police would be there any minute. Which they were, about 3 minutes later- unfortunately too late. Again, in that amount of time TM could have already been home, so I would tend to believe TM chose not to go home, and instead confronted GM, and attacked him.
I don't doubt there was a reason for GZ to think that there was something fishy going on, he did what was right and called the police, but instead of listening to them, he decided to act alone. The claim that "he was going to get away like the rest of them" doesn't really seem to be a good defense for going after him seeing as the altercation took place not overly far from where GZ was set to meet with the police (clearly within the confines of the complex). It's fairly clear GZ jumped the gun and profiled TM even though he wasn't doing anything wrong.
Again, crimes committed in the gated community in the year prior to TM's death included 8 burglaries, 9 thefts, and 1 shooting. Residents were on record as saying there were dozens of reports of attempted break-ins, which they said had created an atmosphere of fear in their neighborhood. The police were called to the community complex 402 times within that year. GM was the community watchman coordinator and saw someone acting suspicious in the rain. I don't think calling 911 and reporting it was wrong if he thought TM was acting suspicious. There's also nothing wrong with wanting to see someone that may be about to commit a criminal act actual be caught. You are assuming GZ is lying that TM didn't attack him when he was going back to his vehicle and wait for police. Again, why would GM look to attack someone when he just called 911 and was waiting for police to arrive? Even if he did somewhat follow TM to make sure he was still in sight, he already told 911 he wanted the police there so he couldn't get away. With respect, the racial profiling is ridiculous. He never even mentioned what color TM was until 911 asked, and he said he "thought" he was black. GZ is far from a racist. Look up about his crusade to help the homeless black man who was treated unfairly by police.
The law might not have been used explicitly in his defense, but the same principle applies, he pleaded not guilty on the grounds of shooting somebody in self defense, which is the exact nature of the law. The problem is, even if TM gave a hug to GZ it could be claimed that GZ felt his life was in danger, see the problem. For all we know GZ could be anti-black and think they are all killer thugs, thus just seeing him prompted a need to kill in self defense.
That's not true. The burden is much higher than that, and yes- I had to look it up and also ask my son who's just about to finish law school. It's not that broad. Remember, TM beat up GZ as witnessed by the person closest to them, and GZ injuries corroborate it. I addressed the racism above.