Updated: 9/11/13 10:52am, with comments from Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara.
By Chris Hoenig
In July, a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman of murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Less than two months later, his estranged wife is letting him off the hook after he allegedly threatened her with a gun.
Shellie Zimmerman, who has filed for divorce from the former neighborhood watch commander, called 911 and told a dispatcher that her husband had his hand on his gun during the dispute and assaulted her father. “He’s threatening all of us with a firearm. … He punched my dad in the nose,” Shellie Zimmerman said on the call. “I don’t know what he’s capable of. I’m really scared.”
Listen to the 911 call below:
She later recanted, telling police that she never saw him with his handgun, and declined to press charges. Her father also declined to press charges. Lake Mary Police spokesman Zach Hudson said no weapon turned up during the initial investigation. “We did not find a gun on his body. We did not find a gun in the house,” he said. “As of right now, there is no gun.”
Confusion over whether Zimmerman was armed continued Tuesday, however, when his attorney, Mark O’Mara, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that Zimmerman was carrying his gun at the time. “He acted appropriately. He never took the weapon out,” O’Mara said. “The only thing he really did, which is what he told the police, was on the outside of his shirt, he made sure the gun wasn’t moving anywhere and didn’t do anything because Mr. Dean [Zimmerman's father-in-law] was sort of coming at him, that can sort of be seen in the video.” O’Mara went on to confirm that Zimmerman had the gun on his person, not in a glove box or someplace else nearby.
Police say Zimmerman has been cooperative.
The incident happened at the Lake Mary, Fla., home that the couple shared while in hiding during Zimmerman’s murder trial. Shellie Zimmerman moved out last month but returned with her father, who owns the home, on Monday to collect belongings.
“I know the 911 tape suggests that Shellie was saying something but I think that was heightened emotions,” Zimmerman’s attorney, O’Mara said Monday. “There may have been some pushing and touching. That happens a lot in divorce situations. … Nobody was injured.”
Charges Still Possible
Florida law does allow police to arrest a domestic-violence suspect without a formal complaint from the victim. Surveillance cameras outside the house and dash-cam video from responding officers could provide the evidence needed to arrest Zimmerman. Police say both Shellie and George Zimmerman are accusing the other of being the aggressor and an investigation is under way to sort it all out.
“The call went out as a 911 call that Mr. Zimmerman was threatening them with a firearm,” Hudson said. “We’re trying to see if that’s true or not.”
Lake Mary police ticketed Zimmerman last week for speeding. He was also pulled over for speeding in Texas in the weeks after his acquittal, telling the officer there that he had a gun in the glove compartment.
The gun Zimmerman used to kill Martin in February 2012 remains in police custody. The Justice Department placed a hold on the gun–and other evidence from Zimmerman’s murder trial–while officials consider federal civil-rights charges.