But Zimmerman told officers who responded to her call that she never saw a weapon, police Chief Steve Bracknell said. Zimmerman and her father, David Dean, decided not to press charges, Bracknell said.
"We have no victim, no crime," Bracknell said.
According to Hudson, George Zimmerman described his wife and her father as the aggressors.
His defense attorney Mark O'Mara said "emotions are running very, very high" between George and Shellie Zimmerman, and "nobody should be facing charges" in Monday's incident.
"They need to just sort of stay away from each other, keep things cool and work through their attorneys," he said.
Although Shellie Zimmerman's parents own the house, O'Mara told reporters that only George Zimmerman lives there. Shellie moved out, and they had an agreement that she would take her belongings Saturday. But she and her father returned unexpectedly Monday, O'Mara said.
"I think everybody got out of hand. There was touching, pushing," O'Mara said. It was a case of emotions boiling over, he said.
O'Mara also said his client didn't threaten anyone with his gun: "The gun was holstered under his shirt, and it stayed there the whole time."
The incident played out at the house where Zimmerman and his wife lived during his high-profile trial in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Bracknell said police would document the incident thoroughly in case Shellie Zimmerman or her father change their minds about pursuing charges. Officers were also reviewing surveillance video from the house that may have captured what happened.
Shellie Zimmerman's 20-year-old brother, DJ Dean, told reporters that his mother awoke him, saying there had been an altercation involving George, Shellie and her father, David Dean.
George Zimmerman has changed a great deal since he killed Trayvon, his brother-in-law said.
"Before the incident, he was probably the nicest person I ever met," DJ Dean said. "I think the guilt and self-hatred got to him."
Zimmerman had successfully kept his hideout a secret for a year, but that fell apart Monday when his estranged wife called police. Three news helicopters hovered overhead at 3:30 p.m., and TV news trucks lined what had been a very quiet residential street near Seminole State College.
In her divorce petition filed last week, Shellie Zimmerman wrote that the couple had separated Aug. 13.