Police found five guns in the home George Zimmerman was sharing with his girlfriend after responding to a domestic dispute between the couple, according to documents released by authorities in Florida.
Zimmerman was arrested and charged with one felony and two misdemeanors after the domestic incident; he has been accused of pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, inside her residence in Apopka, Fla., about 20 miles outside of Orlando.
An AR-15 type rifle, a shotgun and three handguns were among the firearms police found in the home, as well as 127 rounds of ammunition, according to search warrant returns and an affidavit filed Monday.
The documents reveal Zimmerman’s arsenal as well as statements he and Scheibe made to police after the incident. Bradley Bender, Seminole County Sheriff’s lead investigator, reported that deputies found Scheibe and Zimmerman “involved in a verbal altercation that turned physical.” Scheibe told deputies that Zimmerman pointed a shotgun at her when she told him she planned to contact police, and that he then “asked her if ‘she really wanted to do that’ ” before breaking a table with the gun.
Scheibe also told deputies that Zimmerman “pushed her out of the front door [of the home] against her will, locking her out of the residence.”
Zimmerman offered a different account, including a claim that he and Scheibe were expecting a child – a statement Scheibe disputed, according to Seminole County Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma. He also said they had been living together as a family since late August.
Zimmerman also said that he and Scheibe were separating and he planned to move to Texas. By his account of the incident, Zimmerman was collecting his belongings when Scheibe “began to argue and throw his belongings around the house.” Later, he said that she “picked up a couple of his firearms (a handgun and shotgun),” and then threw them “onto the living room floor.”
The investigator’s report states that Zimmerman “refused to exit the residence” when deputies arrived, saying he would “speak to law enforcement by telephone.”
After Scheibe gave police a key to the home, deputies tried to enter the front door, but found it blocked. The lead investigator also reported that “when deputies attempted to locate the shotgun in question, it appeared as if George Zimmerman had locked the firearms up prior to law enforcement’s arrival.”
Zimmerman told the investigator that “at no point did anyone physically touch each other.” Zimmerman added that he had recorded the event on his cell phone. Two phones belonging to Zimmerman have been entered into evidence.
Zimmerman’s shotgun was made by KelTec, the same company that made the handgun used in the Trayvon Martin shooting.
While he has not yet publicly commented on the case, Zimmerman’s public defender, Jeff Dowdy, told reporters last week that he maintains his innocence. Dowdy told NBC Orlando station WESH that Zimmerman has since hired a new lawyer, Jayne Weintraub.
NBC News reports that he entered a written plea of not guilty to the charges. Zimmerman is currently free on $9,000 bail on charges of aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief.
Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer, shot and killed unarmed 17-year-old Martin on Feb. 26, 2012 in Sanford, Fla. A jury found him not guilty of all charges after the defense argued that he shot Martin in self-defense.
He has had a handful of brushes with the law since the acquittal, including two police stops for speeding – one in Texas and another in Florida – and a domestic dispute with his estranged wife Shellie Zimmerman. No charges were filed in that dispute, after Shellie Zimmerman declined to press charges and police found no evidence to justify them.
NBC News Investigative Unit Producer Tom Winter contributed to this report.