By Kyle Hightower and Mike Schneider
LAKE MARY, Fla.: George Zimmerman’s estranged wife called police officers to her father’s house in Florida Monday, saying the former neighborhood watch volunteer who was acquitted of murder threatened her with a gun.
Shellie Zimmerman called police shortly after 2 p.m. Monday, said Lake Mary Police Chief Steve Bracknell.
Zimmerman hasn’t been arrested and officers were at the house trying to determine what happened, Bracknell said.
“We’ve only heard one side of the story so far,” Bracknell said.
A fire department ambulance arrived at the house but nobody needed to be transported, said Officer Zach Hudson, a spokesman for the Lake Mary Police Department.
“The call went out as a 911 call that Mr. Zimmerman was threatening them with a firearm,” Hudson said. “We’re trying to see if that’s true or not.”
Shellie Zimmerman in a divorce petition filed last week she said 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 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 a divorce petition made public last week.
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 counseling. 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. But lead defense attorney Mark O’Mara arrived at the home and was allowed behind police barricades.
Neighbors and other onlookers have been gathering to watch.
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 misdemeanor 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-defense when he killed Martin and the polarizing case opened up national discussions on self-defense 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 was stopped for speeding on a highway near Dallas.
Forney police stopped Zimmerman on Sunday 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.
Schneider reported from Orlando.