Lake Mary Police in Florida say that George Zimmerman and his wife are blaming the other for being the aggressor in Monday’s incident in which Shellie Zimmerman called 911 to report that her estranged husband was threatening her and her father with a gun. Initial news reports on the incident were confused and murky yesterday, but as more details have become available, police have indicated that no gun was found at the scene or on George Zimmerman’s person.
Lake Mary Police Department spokesperson Zach Hudson told Legal Insurrection, “Nobody saw a gun, none of the witnesses saw a gun, no gun was taken, we didn’t find a gun.”
When asked about initial reports that a gun had been taken from George Zimmerman, Hudson said that statement came from him and it was an error. He further explained that the confusion came from the rush to try and answer media questions within minutes of personnel having arrived on the scene as they were still trying to gather all the details about the incident.
Police had not filed any charges Monday afternoon, as both sides declined to press charges. But police are still investigating the matter and will try to recover video taken from Shellie Zimmerman’s iPad, which was damaged in the incident.
“Absolutely, that is an important piece,” said Hudson when asked if recovering the iPad video was an important component to the department’s investigation. Shellie Zimmerman was apparently filming some of the incident from her iPad.
Shellie Zimmerman could be heard on the 911 call saying that George smashed the iPad. And while she also said on the call that George was threatening her and her father with a firearm, she later told police that she never saw a gun, according to the Associated Press:
Shellie Zimmerman, who has filed for divorce, initially told a 911 dispatcher that her husband had his hand on his gun as he sat in his car outside the home she was at with her father. She said she was scared because she wasn’t sure what Zimmerman was capable of doing. But hours later she changed her story and said she never saw a firearm, said Lake Mary Police Chief Steve Bracknell.
For the time being, “domestic violence can’t be invoked because she has changed her story and says she didn’t see a firearm,” Bracknell said.
On the 911 call, Shellie Zimmerman is sobbing and repeating “Oh my God” as she talks to a police dispatcher. She yells at her father to get inside the house, saying Zimmerman may start shooting at them.
“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.”
She also said he grabbed an iPad from her hand and smashed it. Her father also declined to press charges, the police chief said.
Police officers could still build a case based on surveillance video from cameras outside the house and also video from the squad cars of officers who responded. Florida law allows police officers to arrest someone for domestic violence without the consent of the victim.
Police spokesman Zach Hudson said the estranged husband and wife were blaming each other for being the aggressor and that police officers were sorting through their accounts.
Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara said the incident between the parties was the result of “heightened emotions” as the couple works through the details of their divorce, according tothe AP.
Mark O’Mara says that the dispute between George and Shellie Zimmerman at her father’s house was the result of heightened emotions from their ongoing divorce.
O’Mara says there may be have been some “pushing and touching” but George Zimmerman never punched his father-in-law.
Police spokesman Zach Hudson confirmed that both sides, both George Zimmerman and Shellie Zimmerman’s father, scuffled with one another.