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George Zimmerman's gun recovered by police after road-rage incident

Police officers recovered a handgun from George Zimmerman and took two guns from a man accused of shooting at the former neighbourhood watchman while both were driving, authorities said Tuesday.

2 guns recovered from driver accused of shooting at Zimmerman

FILE - In this July 9, 2013, file photo, George Zimmerman is seen in court in this July 9, 2013, file photo. Zimmerman was involved in a shooting, Monday, May 11, 2015. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Associated Press)

Police officers recovered a handgun from George Zimmerman and took two guns from a man accused of shooting at the former neighbourhood watchman while both were driving, authorities said Tuesday.

The incident is just the latest run-in with law enforcement for Zimmerman since he was acquitted in the February 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in a case that sparked protests and an ongoing national debate about race relations. The U.S. Justice Department later decided not to bring a civil rights case against Zimmerman.

Police also released an emergency call Tuesday in which the caller says the other man, Matthew Apperson, told him he was forced to fire his gun Monday at the former neighbourhood watch leader on a busy street in the Orlando suburb of Lake Mary.

"A guy says he had to shoot a guy through the window and he wants the police to come," the man said on the call. "He had to shoot at somebody ... He said it was George Zimmerman."

Zimmerman suffered minor injuries from flying glass and debris.

Two guns were taken from Apperson's car, including a revolver that had a spent shell casing. Police officers will also execute a search warrant on Zimmerman's pickup truck, said Lake Mary Police Officer Bianca Gillett.

Both men had the guns legally.

"He never waved it, displayed it or brandished it," said Zimmerman's attorney, Don West. "He did not threaten Mr. Apperson in any way with a firearm."

No charges have been filed

Detectives are still investigating and no charges have been filed against Zimmerman or Apperson. She said the investigation could take time. Documents released Tuesday show that detectives are investigating the shooting as a possible aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.

"It was a busy time of day on a very busy street," Gillett said. "We are thinking there is someone that saw something that they could come forward and provide that information to the Lake Mary Police Department."

Zimmerman and Apperson were involved in a road-rage episode last September, but no charges were filed in that case.

Zimmerman's other brushes with the law include:

  • 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 co-operate.
  • 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 co-operate 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.

With files from CBC News

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