on whether to charge Florida neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman with the shooting death of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin has been made
, sources told ABC News.
The decision by Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey is expected to be announced at a 6 p.m.
news conference in Jacksonville, Fla.
The prosecutor's ruling is certain to provoke controversy in Sanford, Fla., where shooting took place and across the country.
Zimmerman, 28, a white Hispanic neighborhood watch captain, shot and killed Martin, who was 17 and black, on Feb. 26 after following the teenager for several minutes.
The special prosecutor's ruling came one day after Zimmerman's legal team quit because they had lost contact with him, and suggested that the pressure of the case had "pushed him over the edge."
His lawyers said that Zimmerman was no longer in Florida and ABC News has learned that prosecutors do not know his exact location.
Earlier this week, Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett said his city has become a "kindling box" due to the high emotions surrounding the case, and that he would "plan for the worst and hope for the best."
The case gained national prominence with rallies across the country demanding that Zimmerman be arrested and charged with murder. Zimmerman and his supporters say that the shooting had nothing to do with race and that he shot Martin in self-defense.
The city of Sanford has been getting increasingly tense as the decision neared. Six shots were fired into an empty police cruiser earlier this week in the neighborhood where Martin was killed.
The New Black Panther Party offered a $10,000 bounty for Zimmerman and his lawyers said Zimmerman had received death threats.
The New Socialist Movement, a white supremacy group, said they were patrol Sanford to protect whites and racists comments about the shooting have sprung up on social media sites.
Debate over the shooting became so widespread that even President Obama commented, saying if he had a son he would have looked like Trayvon Martin.
On his website, Zimmerman released a statement about the shooting this week, calling the incident a "life-altering event."
"As a result of the incident and subsequent media coverage, I have been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately my entire life," he wrote.
In a written statement to police on the night of the shooting, Zimmerman said that he'd called 911 to report a suspicious man and that as he returned to his car, Martin attacked him. Zimmerman said that Martin punched him in the nose and knocked him down, slammed his head on the ground and tried to take his gun.
The police report noted that Zimmerman was bleeding from the back of the head and nose. His lawyer said later that Zimmerman suffered a broken nose.
After Zimmerman received medical attention, it was decided that he was in good enough condition to travel in a police cruiser to the Sanford police station for questioning. He was not arrested.
The U.S. Justice Department is also carrying out an investigation into the shooting.