Thursday, February 22, 2018
Public safety

Zimmerman's wife tells police he threatened her with gun

ORLANDO — George Zimmerman's estranged wife called 911 on Monday afternoon to report that her husband was threatening her family, but she later declined to press charges, police confirmed.

Lake Mary police Officer Zach Hudson said Shellie Zimmerman called 911, saying George Zimmerman was threatening her and her father with a weapon in a house on Sprucewood Road.

In a 911 call released by police, Shellie Zimmerman tells a dispatcher that her husband had "his hand on his gun and he keeps saying step closer."

"Step closer and what?" the dispatcher asks.

"And he's going to shoot us," Shellie Zimmerman replies.

However, Lake Mary police Chief Steve Bracknell confirmed about 4:30 p.m. that Shellie Zimmerman and her father, David Dean, had signed paperwork declining to press charges.

"They both have declined to press charges against George," Bracknell said. "We have no victim, no crime."

According to Hudson, Zimmerman described his wife and her father as the aggressors.

The incident played out at a house where, the Orlando Sentinel reported earlier Monday on its website, Zimmerman and his wife lived in hiding during his high-profile trial in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Hudson said that although Zimmerman was not detained and was not in custody, he was cooperating with police.

Bracknell said police would document the incident thoroughly in case Shellie Zimmerman or her father changed their minds about pursuing charges.

Officers were also reviewing surveillance video from the house, which may have captured what happened.

Police seized Zimmerman's gun, but Hudson said "more than likely we'll be giving it back."

In the 911 call, Shellie Zimmerman says her husband punched her father, leaving a mark on his face.

"He's shaking, he says he feels like he's going to have a heart attack, his nose might be broken," she said, describing her father.

"I'm really, really afraid," Shellie Zimmerman said. "I don't know what he's capable of. I'm really, really scared."

At another point in the call, she warned her father to stay away from her husband: "Dad get inside the house, George might start shooting at us."

After reports that Zimmerman was in police custody, reporters and news crews flooded Sprucewood Road. Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, arrived at the scene about 4:10 p.m.

Shellie's 20-year-old brother, DJ Dean, told reporters that his mother woke him, saying there had been an altercation involving the Zimmermans and Dean.

A gray Honda Ridgeline, similar to one driven by Zimmerman when he was ticketed last week in Lake Mary, was parked in front of the house. Shortly after his acquittal, Zimmerman was given a warning for speeding in Texas.

Zimmerman had successfully kept his hideout a secret for a year, but on Monday that fell apart when Shellie Zimmerman called police.

Three news helicopters hovered overhead at 3:30 p.m. and TV news trucks lined what had been a very quiet residential street near Seminole State College.

In her divorce petition filed last week, Shellie Zimmerman wrote that the couple had separated Aug. 13.

A former neighborhood watch volunteer, Zimmerman was acquitted in July of murder in the Feb. 26, 2012, killing of Martin, an unarmed Miami Gardens teenager.

Zimmerman said he fired on the teen in self-defense. The case sparked outrage and widespread protests when Zimmerman wasn't immediately arrested by police in Sanford.

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