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Nestel writes: "Police allege that Matthew Apperson shot George Zimmerman on a busy Florida street on Monday. Eight months before, police say Zimmerman threatened to do the same to him."

George Zimmerman. (photo: Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Reuters)
George Zimmerman. (photo: Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Reuters)

George Zimmerman Shot in the Face on a Busy Florida Street

By M.L. Nestel, The Daily Beast

12 May 15


Police allege that Matthew Apperson shot George Zimmerman on a busy Florida street on Monday. Eight months before, police say Zimmerman threatened to do the same to him.

eorge Zimmerman was shot in the face Monday by a bullet believed to have been fired by a man he knew—and had already fought with in his own pickup truck months ago, Lake Mary, Florida cops confirmed.

Zimmerman, 31, was behind the wheel of his charcoal-colored Honda Ridgeline SUV on Lake Mary Boulevard when he and Matthew Apperson began squabbling with each other around 1 p.m., police said. The heated exchange somehow led to a gun being pulled and fired, leaving a gaping hole in the passenger window and striking Zimmerman’s in the head, according to police.

Apperson, 36, was the only person to fire a shot, cops say, but it’s unknown if Zimmerman drew a weapon or had one with him during the confrontation.

Zimmerman, who is most famous for being found not guilty in the shooting death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012, suffered an injury during the alleged attack. He was recovering at a nearby hospital on Monday night, authorities confirmed.

Lake Mary Police Deputy Chief Colin Morgan told The Daily Beast that “it looks like [Zimmerman] is going to survive” the attack.

“It doesn’t appear to be a mortal wound,” he said.

While Zimmerman, according to a police spokeswoman, “flagged down a Lake Mary Police officer,” it was Apperson who called 9-1-1 to inform the cops he had been involved in the shooting incident, a police spokeswoman told reporters earlier today.

Zimmerman had explained to the officer that “someone had shot at him and his vehicle,” the spokeswoman said.

After pulling the trigger, Apperson sounded off that he’d struck the polarizing figure. “He said ‘Please call 9-1-1, please call 9-1-1—I just shot George Zimmerman,’” Kenneth Cornell, who was at the scene, told an NBC affiliate.

Apperson left the Lake Mary Police Department late Monday night. His attorney says Apperson acted in self-defense.

Jose Ortiz, 38, was driving on the gridlocked Lake Mary Blvd.

He had no clue until he passed by the scene that there was a shooting. “We were wondering what was wrong and why there was so much traffic and now we know it was because someone shot [George] Zimmerman.”

Both men had been in a similar skirmish with each other last September, according to the Deputy Chief.

“[The shooter] was involved in another incident with George Zimmerman a while back,” said Morgan. “That was another road rage incident some time ago."

The Daily Beast spoke briefly with Apperson’s sister, Susan, who acknowledged her brother’s tumultuous past with Zimmerman, but hadn’t heard about what happened earlier today. “I don’t know anything, but I do remember the other incident [involving Zimmerman],” she said.

In the September 8, 2014 confrontation, Apperson said Zimmerman threatened his life.

According to 9-1-1 dispatch tapes, Apperson told a dispatcher he was listening to music in his car while Zimmerman “almost hit my car and he said he would shoot me then.”

"I was in my car, rapping to myself with my windows up. And I looked over, and it's—George Zimmerman was the driver. And they were threatening to kick my ass and to shoot me."

Apperson claims Zimmerman and another passenger in his truck had every intention to rattle him.

According to a police report, Apperson said Zimmerman screamed, "Do you know who I am?” Then, the report states, he shouted, "I'll fucking kill you."

And a day after the dustup, Apperson told an emergency dispatcher that Zimmerman and his pal were stalking him at his workplace.

“It seems like the guy is sitting there, waiting for me,” Apperson said in the 9-1-1 call. “It’s disheartening to see him lurking around here.”

Deputy Chief Morgan confirmed to The Daily Beast that a weapon was flashed in the 2014 altercation.

“A gun was displayed, but no shooting took place. No one got shot in that incident," Deputy Chief Morgan said.

Zimmerman admitted to Lake County Police that he and the anonymous man had a confrontational exchange.

Despite all the gun toting and alleged threats, no charges were brought. “No one wanted to prosecute, so it wasn’t a big incident,” he said.

Monday’s run-in comes two years after Zimmerman’s headline-grabbing acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman argued that he shot the young, unarmed teen in self-defense.

Weeks after he was found not guilty, Zimmerman allegedly inflicted a red welt on his father-in-law’s face when he knocked off his glasses with his hand, according to police reports. Police reports allege Zimmerman then raised his shirt to reveal “what [Shellie] assumed was a gun when [Zimmerman] said to her father, ‘Step closer!’”

The disturbance was recorded by his then-wife, Shellie Zimmerman, on an iPad she shared with Zimmerman. But according to police reports, Zimmerman destroyed the device and cops (including the Secret Service) were unable to recover the footage. No charges stuck.

George Zimmerman and his wife have since divorced.

The couple had tried counseling but, years before, Shellie alleges George struck her in the mouth with an open palm while en route to see the psychiatrist.

A few years before, Zimmerman was romantically tied to then-31-year-old hairstylist Veronica Zuazo, who filed a restraining order against him. She claimed Zimmerman was following her around her home, which ultimately led Zuazo’s dog to bite him.

Today, Zimmerman’s brother Robert tweeted his appreciation for the prayers he says he’s received. “Thank you for the prayers. Thank you so much. We need them. All of us.” your social media marketing partner


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+20 # Billy Bob 2015-05-12 11:48
Matthew 26:52

You can probably guess which Bible verse this. Look it up.
+3 # candida 2015-05-15 00:42
Quoting Billy Bob:
Matthew 26:52

You can probably guess which Bible verse this. Look it up.

What goes around comes around?
+2 # Billy Bob 2015-05-15 04:36
Pretty much…

"...all who live by the sword will die by the sword."
+86 # Billy Bob 2015-05-12 11:53
Oh, one more point…

This Zimmerman guy sounds like one of those "THUGS" we keep hearing about.
+78 # indian weaver 2015-05-12 12:16
It's only a matter of time when the Stand Your Ground defense backfires against Zimmerman. After all, if you were confronted with armed Zimmerman, and you were armed, what's your first reaction? Stand Your Ground, or die.
+61 # Skyelav 2015-05-12 13:34
Sometimes stand your ground AND die. Ubelievable this. Zimmerman should have been in jail and now someone else will probably go to jail, be another victim. I wonder what the story would be if Zimmerman's father had not been a Virginia circuit court judge?
+57 # Vardoz 2015-05-12 14:24
He got away with murder. He should be sentenced to life in prison. He robbed a young, innocent boy of his life, a truly tragic crime. What if it was his son? He should be punished to the full extent of the law. He is a murderer.
+100 # MEBrowning 2015-05-12 13:25
"...somehow led to a gun being pulled and fired."

Funny how when guns are around, they just "somehow" end up being used. But God forbid we institute reasonable gun laws that would make us safer. The NRA should be leading that effort. Instead, like so many organizations composed of lobbyists whose only interest is in making money, Wayne LaPierre and his ilk are doing all they can to take us backward.
+24 # Skyelav 2015-05-12 13:36
Yes, of course. I suggested the same to an officer decades ago and he wanted me to present that idea to the board who were meeting in the same hotel as I was a guest. I did not and have felt sorry ever since.
+57 # Larry 2015-05-12 13:49
If the only tool in your bag is a hammer, pretty soon the entire world starts looking like a nail. People like Zimmerman and his shooter can only express anger (and they apparently have a lot of it to express) through violence. And if they have ready access to a gun, yes, they will use it.

So Wayne, exactly where was that mythical good guy with a gun who was supposed to stop the bad guy with a gun? And while you're thinking about that one, Wayne, what about all those times when it's just about impossible to tell in the heat of the fray just which is the good guy and which is the bad guy? Shoot both of them, just to be sure?

If those questions are too hard, just remember, the clear solution to every problem faced by our violent, gun-saturated society is--more guns!
+8 # vitobonespur 2015-05-13 13:47
I agree with you on instituting reasonable gun laws. But the right win bellyaches that we are trying to "take away" their guns. I've not heard anyone ever advocate taking away anyone's guns. But the conservative "gun nuts" seem to have their entire political base brain washed into believing that is at the top of a liberal agenda. Or maybe their brains are damaged from the loud gunshots at their firing ranges.
+7 # MEBrowning 2015-05-14 12:23
You can count on the right to obfuscate, convolute and turn every message on its ear. After all, Obamacare was adapted directly from a Republican plan, yet you'd think it came from the mind of Karl Marx himself. Never believe the Rightwing Bubble.
+35 # guslee72 2015-05-12 14:33
poetic justice...
+22 # djnova50 2015-05-12 14:54
It should take a certain degree of maturity to be a responsible gun owner. It does not seem like George and Matthew have that. It's not a very mature action to try and settle an argument/disagr eement with a gun. Perhaps, they should give up there guns. For these two guys, that would be the mature and responsible thing to do.

George seems to have a knack for making the news as he travels down the road to infamy.
+12 # snowy33 2015-05-12 20:31
Its not a matter of maturity, that's as the RW would say, a pointy headed intellectual's comment. If someone is threatening you with a gun, you have 3 alternatives: you can flee and call the cops, and then be afraid forever, cause he will just deny it and walk. Or you can stupidly wave your gun to try to back him down; or perhaps the safest with someone who has killed and threatened and stalked you before... shoot him as quickly as you can. Looks like this guy did number 3. George is a creep under enormous pressure- I don't doubt he carries a gun, and that he threatens people over minor offenses. Live by the sword...
+38 # Buddha 2015-05-12 16:02
I wonder if any of the 12 Florida Jurors looking at the domestic violence and threats and shootings Zimmerman has since been involved in and wishes they ruled him guilty? I'm guessing not, Floridians don't seem to be very introspective or aware, witness the re-election of Gov Scott.
+24 # WestWinds 2015-05-12 17:12
Quoting Buddha:
I wonder if any of the 12 Florida Jurors looking at the domestic violence and threats and shootings Zimmerman has since been involved in and wishes they ruled him guilty? I'm guessing not, Floridians don't seem to be very introspective or aware, witness the re-election of Gov Scott.

--- Buddha, I live in Central Floriduh, and you have got it SPOT ON!!! This place is a jungle of insanity and the police are just as off the rails as the are the politicians and the residents.
+17 # snowy33 2015-05-12 20:41
Florida has simply the worst reps of every racial, ethnic, and political group: crackers, Repubs, Cubans, Jews, blacks, police, Government: they can be counted on to act ignorantly, brutally, unconstitutiona lly, foolishly, et al.

The 2000 election was a massive FU on every level- still can't get over that Katheryn Harris never went to jail, or Duval Co. election officials, who prepared a DIFFERENT SAMPLE ballot than the real ballot, confusing 90% Dem voters (told by GOTV workers to "vote every page") to vote twice for President- 9% rejected!!! Worst scandal in whole election.
+16 # Billy Bob 2015-05-13 00:17
I think Florida is just Texas, plus water.
+6 # Linda 2015-05-13 13:20
It wasn't always like this until the KKK, racist skinheads and the christian right moved in and took over that state . Now its a place I wouldn't even visit !
+20 # WestWinds 2015-05-12 17:09
This is the insanity we get when corporations run things.


We need a return to an Age of Enlightenment and to take the Kool-Aid out of the drinking water!
+16 # kumquat 2015-05-12 17:11
It's okay since Matthew Apperson had already been threatened by ZIMMERMAN and had good reason to be in fear of hi life. His attorney says Apperson acted in self-defense. Too baD HE DIDN'T HAVE BETTER AIM.
+15 # Cappucino 2015-05-12 17:34
For those who REALLY don't want to look it up... (and actually, I had to look it up too... all those years of learning Bible verses obviously didn't stick. :P )Matthew 26:52.

…51. And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52. Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.
+18 # Kootenay Coyote 2015-05-12 20:34
How much longer till someone puts Zimmerman down like a mad dog? At least Apperson's using the Zimmerman Stand-yer-Groun d Defence….
+17 # tomtom 2015-05-12 22:12
Hello idiots in Florida; take the guns away from these assholes, before they or others get hurt. Can't You figure that out?
+13 # treespeaker 2015-05-12 23:41
Zimmerman is an accident looking for a place to happen. He got away with murder and now he thinks his stuff doesn't stink. Live by the gun die by the gun. It is called karma - what goes around comes around. And the sooner the better before more innocent people get hurt or killed.
+11 # moby doug 2015-05-13 00:48
100 million Americans own the 300 million privately owned firearms. The other 200 million Americans are praying they won't be the next target.
+8 # reiverpacific 2015-05-13 09:28
I can't think of any other country in the allegedly "Developed" (as opposed to "Civilized" world), where an ARMED psychopathic, knuckle-draggin g, criminal bully would be allowed to walk free STILL armed, without retribution or even being forced to take anger-managemen t and mental evaluation sessions under close supervision.
Of course, many of y'r "Representative s" in the halls of power and not a few Presidents/V.P. 's could be dumped in the same category, indeed as mass murderers, warmongers, torturers and human rights massacring abusers but that's another story, if not entirely unconnected.
Zimmerman is the living but certainly not only example that illustrates the remark made by a friend since High School in Scotland I'm still in touch with occasionally, who became the Chief Constable of the Lothian and Borders Police (Still without guns) "I'd hate to be a cop in the USA, where it seems that any sicko or cowardly bully with an axe to grind or a grudge against anybody can get a high-powered weapon at a variety of public markets to feel powerful".
The gun advocates I've seen on RSN cite the ability of "Law abiding Citizens" to bear arms and the Second Amendment's "Well regulated militia": so what of the likes of Zimmermann, who is a poster-child hero of the NRA and the gun show crowds?
Does this point towards those of us who chose NOT to be afraid of "the other" nor own guns, being forced to own/carry firearms -as inferred by "moby doug", for our own safety?
+5 # vitobonespur 2015-05-13 13:53
So Zimmerman got shot in the face. And was sent to a hospital.

I sure hope it was nothing trivial.

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