LAKE MARY, Fla. (AP) — A shooting incident involving George Zimmerman is the latest in a series of run-ins the former neighborhood watch volunteer has had with the law, random strangers and his ex-wife since he was acquitted of murder charges two years ago in the death of Trayvon Martin.
A man with whom Zimmerman was involved in a road-rage encounter earlier this year, Matthew Apperson, called 911 to report the shooting Monday in the Orlando suburb of Lake Mary, Officer Bianca Gillett told a news conference. Zimmerman, meanwhile, flagged down an officer to report someone had shot at him.
Gillett said both Zimmerman and Apperson have yet to be interviewed formally by investigators, and it was unclear whether any charges would be filed.
"We have not determined how or why the incident or altercation began," she said.
A bullet missed Zimmerman’s head and he was sprayed with glass from his vehicle’s windshield and other debris, but he wasn’t seriously hurt, said his attorney, Don West.
"His injuries would be considered minor," West said.
Zimmerman was treated at a hospital and released.
West said before the news conference that Zimmerman thought he knew who was responsible for the shooting and is cooperating with authorities.
A woman who answered the phone at the disability-benefits business where Apperson works asked a reporter never to call again. Nobody answered the door at his Winter Springs condominium, where there is a "for sale" sign out front and a lock box on the door.
Last September, Apperson said Zimmerman threatened to kill him, asking "Do you know who I am?" during a confrontation in their vehicles. Apperson decided not to pursue charges and police officers were unable to move forward without a license plate number or witnesses.
"I explained to Matthew that without the tag, witnesses, and/or clear video identifying the driver as George Zimmerman, it might be difficult to prove the alleged suspect was in fact Zimmerman," the Lake Mary police officer wrote in a report last September.
Zimmerman was acquitted in the February 2012 shooting death of Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in a case that sparked protests and a national debate about race relations. The Justice Department later announced it was not bringing a civil rights case against Zimmerman.
Since then, Zimmerman has had several brushes with the law, including:
— He was charged with aggravated assault after being accused of throwing a wine bottle at an ex-girlfriend, Brittany Brunelle. The case was dropped in January after Brunelle recanted her story and refused to cooperate.
— He was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief after his then-girlfriend Samantha Scheibe said he pointed a gun at her face during an argument, smashed her coffee table and pushed her out of the house they shared. Scheibe decided not to cooperate with detectives, and prosecutors didn’t pursue the case.
— Zimmerman was accused by his estranged wife of smashing an iPad during an argument at the home they had shared. Shellie Zimmerman initially told a dispatcher her husband had a gun, though she later said he was unarmed. No charges were filed because of a lack of evidence. The dispute occurred days after Shellie Zimmerman filed divorce papers.
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