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Monday, December 09, 2019

George Zimmerman Suffers Facial Wounds After Lake Mary Shooting

By Jeff Weiner and Stephanie Allen, Orlando Sentinel (TNS)

ORLANDO, Fla. — George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed Trayvon Martin in 2012, suffered facial injuries Monday after a shooting at a busy intersection in Lake Mary.

Lake Mary Chief Steve Bracknell said the shooter is believed to be a man Zimmerman had a road rage incident with in September, Matthew Apperson of Winter Springs.

No charges have been filed.

Zimmerman was released from a hospital in Sanford with some kind of facial wound, possibly from flying glass or some other type of debris.

“I don’t believe he had a direct hit with a bullet,” said Don West, Zimmerman’s attorney.

News footage showed what appeared to be a bullet hole in the passenger-side window of Zimmerman’s Honda Ridgeline SUV.

It was towed from the scene by a wrecker.

The shooting took place at the entrance to Trailhead Park at about 1 p.m. EDT.

Bracknell, the police chief, said Zimmerman did not shoot.

Apperson appears to be the shooter, Bracknell said, and is cooperating with police.

Police are still investigating, so details about what happened were not released.

Police initially thought the shooting was a road-rage incident, but Bracknell said that might not be true.

Zimmerman was involved in a road rage incident with Apperson in September.

In that case, Zimmerman allegedly threatened to shoot Apperson after he pulled his Honda Ridgeline truck next to the man’s vehicle.

“George Zimmerman was the driver, and they were threatening to kick my (expletive) and to shoot me,” the man told a 911 dispatcher.

At the time, according to Bracknell, the man did not want to press charges.

So Zimmerman was not arrested.

On Monday, Zimmerman flagged down a police officer and said he was involved in a shooting.

At the same time, someone called 911 on behalf of Apperson to report the shooting.

Both men have attorneys, police said Monday.

Zimmerman was accused of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the Feb. 26, 2012, shooting death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford.

A Seminole County jury acquitted him in July 2013.

Then the U.S. Department of Justice investigated.

But the agency said in February that Zimmerman would not face federal civil rights charges, citing a lack of evidence.

Since his trial, Zimmerman had several encounters with the police.

He spent two days in the Seminole County jail in November 2013 after his then-girlfriend accused him of threatening her with a shotgun, pushing her out the door of their home and locking it.

She later recanted, and prosecutors dropped the case.

Two months earlier, his estranged wife and her father accused Zimmerman of threatening them with a gun as the couple tried to divide up their personal belongings.

However, neither the woman nor her father said they ever saw a gun _ only that Zimmerman acted as if he had one and appeared to move his hand toward it.

He was handcuffed that day but released.

He was arrested Jan. 9, accused by Lake Mary police of aggravated assault, but prosecutors backed away from filing criminal in the domestic violence case because a woman, initially upset and angry, changed her story.

(Tiffany Walden and Rene Stutzman contributed to this report.) (c)2015 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.), Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

AFP File Photo


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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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