Police in Lake Mary, Fla., questioned George Zimmerman – the man who was acquitted in July in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin – Monday after his estranged wife called 9-1-1, claiming he threatened her and her father with a gun, telling her to “come closer.”
Zimmerman, 29, was handcuffed and detained after 2 p.m. Police have released him without charges.
His wife, Shellie – who recently filed for divorce and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor perjury for lying about the couple’s finances – told a 9-1-1 dispatcher, “He’s trying to shut the garage door on me. He’s in his car, and he continually has his hand on his gun, and he keeps saying, ‘Step closer.’ He’s just threatening all of us with his firearm.”
The dispatcher asked, “Step closer and what?”
Shellie responded, “And he’s gonna shoot us.”
But CNN Miami’s Kim Segal later tweeted, “Police tell us they did NOT find gun on George Zimmerman or anywhere at the scene of disturbance w/ wife.” Segal later added, “Lake Mary PD say no gun on George Zimmerman or scene; his car was not searched because no PC it wasn’t part of the scene.”
Lake Mary police officers later said that Zimmerman did not have a gun during the incident and cops had not seen any firearm. Zimmerman was “free to go” after police questioned him at a home owned by Shellie Zimmerman’s father, Lake Mary Police public information officer Zach Hudson told NBC News. Shellie Zimmerman and her father declined to press charges against her husband.
Reports also say Zimmerman’s bodyguard was with him at the scene, and Zimmerman offered video from home security cameras to assist the police in their investigation.
In an audio recording of Shellie Zimmerman’s 9-1-1 call, she can be heard saying Zimmerman smashed an iPad she was holding and cut it with a pocket knife, struck her father in the nose and threatened both while putting a hand on a gun.
Shellie told the dispatcher, “He punched my dad in the nose. My dad has a mark on his face. I saw his glasses were on the floor. He accosted my father and then took my iPad out of my hands and then smashed and cut it with a pocket knife. …
“I don’t know what he’s capable of. I’m really, really scared.”
Police officers from eight units arrived at the scene in tactical gear with ballistic shields.
As they pulled up, Shellie shouted at her father, “Dad, get behind the car or something. I don’t know if he’s going to start shooting at us or not.”
She told the dispatcher that the officers had their weapons drawn toward Zimmerman.
Once inside the home, Shellie began crying as the dispatcher attempted to calm her.
Near the end of the 9-1-1 tape, she shouts, “Someone’s in there? There’s a woman in there! Oh myyyyy …”
It’s unclear whether another person was inside Zimmerman’s car during the incident.
Shellie’s attorney told ABC News that Zimmerman threatened Shellie with a knife after she found a gun in the house they shared. Attorney Kelly Sims claimed Zimmerman pulled a gun on Shellie and her father after an argument.
Lake Mary Deputy Police Chief Colin Morgan told ABC News, “There was some kind of a domestic, we know that with his wife and father-in-law. Apparently there were some weapons involved and threats.”
Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, told CNN, “There was heightened emotion, and a disagreement took place.”
According to ABC News, Zimmerman’s wife told police he was acting in a “defensive manner.”
The dispute “was between him and his wife and her father,” Morgan said. “There were some allegations that there had been an assault, but we could not confirm any of it.”
Shellie told media last week that the Trayvon Martin trial and subsequent acquittal on July 13 brought out “a whole other side of her husband.”
Since the acquittal, Zimmerman has continued to make headlines. In July, he helped a family escape from an overturned SUV.
Police have also pulled Zimmerman over twice. A Texas officer gave him a verbal warning for a traffic violation. In Florida last week, he received a $256 ticket for speeding.
Zimmerman’s brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr., tweeted today, “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.”