George Zimmerman's wife alleges he threatened her: Florida police
George Zimmerman, left, arrives in Seminole circuit court, with his wife Shellie, in Sanford, Fla. on June 24, 2013. (Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank)
Published Monday, September 9, 2013 3:16PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, September 9, 2013 8:15PM EDT
LAKE MARY, Fla. -- The estranged wife of a former neighbourhood watchman acquitted in the shooting the death of a black teenager called police officers to her father's house on Monday, saying her husband threatened her and her father with a gun.
Shellie Zimmerman called police shortly after 2 p.m. Monday, said Police Chief Steve Bracknell. In the call, she said George Zimmerman punched her father in the nose, grabbed an iPad out of her hand and smashed it and threatened them both with a gun.
Shellie Zimmerman, who has filed for divorce, initially told an emergency 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 Bracknell.
Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara said his client never made a threat with a gun and that the dispute between was the result of heightened emotions from their ongoing divorce.
George Zimmerman was not arrested, Bracknell said. He said the estranged husband and wife blamed each other for starting the fight but that Shellie Zimmerman would not press charges.
Police were still investigating the encounter as a domestic dispute, but no charges had been filed Monday afternoon. George Zimmerman, wearing a flannel shirt, baseball cap and with sunglasses on, left the home after being questioned by police.
Shellie Zimmerman said in a divorce petition filed last week that she and her husband separated a month after Zimmerman was acquitted of any crime for fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last July in Sanford, just a few miles away from Lake Mary. Zimmerman's acquittal led to protests nationwide.
Shellie Zimmerman was asking that her husband pay for a permanent life insurance policy with her named as the beneficiary, according to the divorce petition.
In an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" that aired last Friday, Zimmerman said her husband left her with "a bunch of pieces of broken glass" after the acquittal. She said he only stayed in their house three or four nights since the trial ended and that they even tried counselling. But she moved out Aug. 13.
"I have a selfish husband and I think George is all about George," she said.
George Zimmerman and his lawyers have made no public statements on the divorce proceedings. An email to Zimmerman's lawyers weren't immediately answered.
George Zimmeran's brother Robert Zimmerman Jr., tweeted that "we've learned from GZ case not to 'jump to conclusions,' to wait for facts, & to avoid speculation. 'News' is a business -- not your friend."
Last month, Shellie Zimmerman, 26, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanour perjury charge for lying about the couple's finances during a bail hearing following her husband's arrest after Martin's shooting.
George Zimmerman, 29, said he acted in self-defence when he killed Martin and the polarizing case opened up national discussions on self-defence laws and race. Martin was black. Zimmerman has a white father and Hispanic mother.
Shellie Zimmerman was sentenced to a year's probation and 100 hours of community service. Her husband did not attend the sentencing hearing in the Sanford courtroom.
Zimmerman has been involved with a domestic case at least once before. In 2005, Zimmerman's former fiancee filed for a restraining order against Zimmerman, alleging domestic violence. Zimmerman responded by requesting a restraining order against his then-fiancee.
Since his acquittal, Zimmerman has gotten a speeding ticket in Florida and was pulled over on suspicion of speeding on a highway near Dallas but not ticketed.
Forney police stopped Zimmerman as he drove west on U.S. 80, about 20 miles east of Dallas. A police dashcam video released July 31 shows an officer interacting with Zimmerman and letting him go with a warning.
The officer can be heard saying, "Just take it easy. Go ahead and shut your glove compartment. Don't play with your firearm."
Although the officer's comments indicated Zimmerman had a gun, a weapon can't be seen and it's not clear that he had one. However, Zimmerman had a concealed weapons permit in Florida that would be also recognized under Texas law. The gun used in Martin's shooting remains in the custody of the federal government, which is looking into a possible civil rights case.