"Report: George Zimmerman Allegedly Threatened Family Members With A Gun"
Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman is under police investigation for a possible domestic battery following a fight with his wife and her family on Monday afternoon. According to news channel WKMG Local 6, police are “trying to determine what exactly happened” but they report a gun was present. The Associated Press reports that Zimmerman allegedly violently threatened his estranged wife, Shellie, and her father first with a knife, punched the father-in-law in the nose, and pulled out his gun at her parents’ house in Lake Mary, Central Florida, just days after Shellie filed for divorce.
In her 911 call, Shellie said, “He continuously has his hand on his gun and he keeps saying ‘get closer.” On the call she also said, “Dad get inside the house George might start shooting at us” and “I’m really really afraid. I don’t know what he’s capable of.” Listen to the full audio:
But Zimmerman has already offered a contradictory account in which he said he acted in “a defensive manner” and that Shellie was the aggressor — not unlike his self-defense claims during the Trayvon Martin trial. A police spokesman told an Orlando Sentinel reporter that Zimmerman “appears calm, collected.”
As the family considers what to do next, police have not yet made an arrest. But Police Chief Steve Bracknell said, “They both have declined to press charges against George Zimmerman. We have no victim, no crime.”
This does not appear to be an accurate statement of Florida law, however. As a Florida appeals court held “the decision to prosecute does not lie with the victim of a crime” but with the state attorney who must determine whether to pursue the case.
In the meantime, Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara arrived on the scene and Zimmerman’s brother, Robert, warned the public “not to jump to conclusions.”
Zimmerman has had documented instances of domestic violence before, including a restraining order from his ex-fiancee.
Since Zimmerman was acquitted for shooting Martin, he has gone shopping for a new firearm from the manufacturer that made the gun that killed Martin. He has also received speeding tickets from police, and revealed he had a gun stored in his car glove compartment at the time. An Ohio gun group raised over $12,000, which they sent Zimmerman to purchase the new gun.
Under Florida law, Zimmerman’s alleged actions likely amount to “aggravated assault,” a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Additionally, if Zimmerman is convicted of this felony, he would be legally barred from owning a gun.