Warrant: Zimmerman had 5 guns, ammo when arrested
SANFORD, Florida (AP) — The former Florida neighborhood watchman involved in a high-profile shooting of an unarmed black teen had five guns and more than 100 rounds of ammunition with him when deputies arrested him earlier this month on domestic violence charges, according to court documents released Tuesday.
A search warrant made public by the Seminole County court clerk shows that George Zimmerman had a 12-gauge shotgun, an AR-15 assault rifle and three handguns when he was arrested Nov. 18 at his girlfriend’s house. The girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, told deputies that Zimmerman pointed a shotgun at her during an argument and also used it to smash her coffee table.
Zimmerman is free on $9,000 bail on charges of aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief. He is not allowed to have guns as a condition of his bail. He has entered a written plea of not guilty.
Zimmerman, 30, was acquitted of murder in July in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin during a confrontation in the Florida community where Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch volunteer. The shooting sparked accusations that Zimmerman had targeted the unarmed Martin because of his race. It led to nationwide debates over race and so-called stand your ground self-defense laws that protect gun owners.
Scheibe told deputies she asked Zimmerman to leave the house they were sharing during an argument. Scheibe said in an arrest report that he began packing his belongings, including some of the weapons, but became upset and took the shotgun out of the case.
The gun Zimmerman used to shoot Martin remains in federal custody because of an ongoing investigation and was not among those found when he was recently arrested.
According to the search warrant, Scheibe said she was going to call police. That’s when Zimmerman pointed the shotgun at her and asked if “she really wanted to do that,” the warrant says. Scheibe said Zimmerman pushed her out of the house while she was calling police and locked the door, barricading it with furniture and other items.
The search warrant says Zimmerman told deputies a different version of events. He said that Scheibe and he had agreed to separate and that he was planning to move to Texas. But as he gathered his belongings, Zimmerman said Scheibe became upset and threw a handgun and the shotgun on the floor.
The weapons were locked in a soft-sided case with a combination lock when deputies arrived, according to the warrant. In addition to the shotgun and AR-15 rifle, the warrant says Zimmerman had three handguns: a Glock 19, a Taurus 9mm and an Interarms .380-caliber. Deputies also collected two cellphones, a pocket knife and a flashlight, among other items.
The arrest in the domestic violence case was just the latest brush with the law for Zimmerman.
He and his estranged wife, Shellie, were involved in a domestic dispute in September just days after she filed divorce papers, but police later said no charges were filed against either of them because of a lack of evidence.