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George Zimmerman's wife tells cops he punched her dad, had gun

By Matt Pearce

4:51 PM EDT, September 9, 2013

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In a call to 911, George Zimmerman's wife can be heard telling police Monday that Zimmerman was sitting in a car outside her home with "his hand on his gun and saying, 'Step closer.' "

"Dad, get inside the house! George might start shooting at us, I don’t know," Shellie Zimmerman can be heard telling her father, according to a 911 recording released as police swarmed the Zimmerman home in Lake Mary, Fla., to investigate. 

As of a couple of hours after the 911 call, Zimmerman was not under arrest but was in "investigative custody," which means he can't leave the scene until police are done investigating, Lake Mary Police Chief Steve Bracknell said in a phone interview with the Los Angeles Times. Bracknell said Zimmerman was being cooperative.

Later, Bracknell told the Orlando Sentinel that Shellie Zimmerman and her father had decided not to press charges. "We have no victim, no crime,” he said.

On the 911 recording, Shellie Zimmerman sounded stressed, saying her husband had attacked her father and may have broken his nose.

"He’s just threatening all of us with his firearm, and he’s gonna shoot us," she said on the call. "He punched my dad in the nose, my dad has a mark on his face, I saw his glasses on the floor. He accosted my father, and took my iPad out of my hand, and smashed it and cut it with a pocket knife."

She added, “He just showed up here.... I’m really, really afraid.... I don’t know what he’s capable of, I’m really scared.”

Shellie Zimmerman filed for divorce last week. She was convicted of perjury for lying to a judge about their finances during the prosecution of her husband in the 2012 shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman was acquitted this summer in the slaying. 

She called 911 about 2:10 p.m. Monday to say that her husband was in her home, with his hand on a gun, threatening all of the family, Bracknell said.

“Keep in mind, this is only her side of the story," Bracknell said.

After police responded, Shellie Zimmerman and her father weren't giving statements to the police until their attorney arrived, Bracknell said.

Shellie Zimmerman's attorney, Kelly Sims, did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Sims told ABC News that George Zimmerman pulled a knife on his wife Monday after she found a firearm in the house they had shared. He then pulled a gun on her and her father after a verbal altercation, Sims told ABC News.

“Oh my God. Oh my God!” Shellie Zimmerman says to herself on the 911 recording as police arrive and a dispatcher urges her and her father to stay inside the home.

“Shellie, you’re doing really good, OK? This is a tough situation for anyone," the dispatcher says.

Shellie Zimmerman can be heard weeping quietly.

After news of the incident broke, George Zimmerman's brother, Robert Zimmerman, tweeted, "We've learned from [Trayvon Martin] case not to 'jump to conclusions,' to wait for facts, & to avoid speculation. 'News' is a business - not your friend."

According to a copy of the divorce petition obtained by the Associated Press, Shellie Zimmerman wanted her husband to pay for a permanent life insurance policy with her as beneficiary.

George Zimmerman has had trouble staying out of the news lately, twice getting pulled over for speeding after his acquittal. One of those times, he was armed. In another incident, he visited the manufacturer that made the gun he used in the slaying of Martin. Zimmerman said he was acting in self-defense; his acquittal by a six-person Florida jury sparked nationwide protests. 

The news of Zimmerman's detention Monday went viral and caused a stir at the Lake Mary Police Department, which serves a town of 14,574 people. The police have been deluged with phone calls from the media asking about the incident.

“Man, it would be fantastic if you have an apartment out there [in Los Angeles] for George Zimmerman," Bracknell, the police chief, told The Times. “This guy is killing me. We’re just a small-town police department -- this really taxes us."

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