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Posted: September 10, 2013

Dashcam video: Cops, guns drawn, order George Zimmerman to ground


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LAKE MARY, Fla. —

Video obtained by Florida TV station WFTV shows police officers arriving and ordering George Zimmerman to the ground while guns were drawn on him following a domestic altercation with his wife, Shellie.

The incident unfolded Monday at Shellie Zimmerman's parents' house in Lake Mary, Fla.

Zach Hudson of the Lake Mary Police Department said during a news conference Tuesday that the confrontation was between George and Shellie's father, and that there was no gun involved.

"He's in his car and he has his hand on his gun," Shellie Zimmerman told 911 dispatchers. "And he keeps saying, 'Step closer,' and threatening all of us."

Lake Mary police later said that officers did not recover a gun.

"There was no gun found. We searched him," said Hudson.

But police said they didn't search Zimmerman's truck, which was a mistake, in the opinion of WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer.

"If she's saying she saw a firearm in George's possession while he's in the car, that gave them probable cause to search the car," said Sheaffer.

In the 911 call, Shellie Zimmerman was insistent her husband had a gun, mentioning or alluding to a gun six times in the five-minute call.

"Dad, get inside the house. George might start shooting at us. I don't know," she can be heard saying on the call.

WFTV reported that the officers responding to the incident had their weapons drawn and ordered George Zimmerman to the ground.

Police are also still reviewing home surveillance video.

No injuries were reported, and no one is pressing charges, police said.

All parties signed a document at the scene expressing their wish not to prosecute, although domestic-battery charges could still be filed against either George or Shellie Zimmerman, police said.

In the state of Florida, authorities have the right to prosecute if they believe married parties got physical.

"The father is out of play," Hudson said. "It will be either George or Shellie, if charges are pressed."

Hudson said body cameras on two officers who were at the scene were not working.

Shellie claimed she recorded video during the dispute on her iPad.

"That iPad has video footage on it, what was going on in the household," said Hudson. "The iPad was being used to record events of what was going on and during the confrontation."

Seminole County deputies are trying to piece together the shattered iPad.

"Certainly that (video) could confirm who was the aggressor in the situation," said Sheaffer. "Right now, we have a conflict. The video could answer that question."

Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, said the dispute between George and Shellie Zimmerman at her father's Sprucewood Road house in Lake Mary was the result of heightened emotions from their ongoing divorce.

Lake Mary Police Chief Steve Bracknell said Shellie Zimmerman called police shortly after 2 p.m. Monday about a domestic disturbance at the home.

In the 911 call, Shellie Zimmerman told 911 dispatchers that her husband pulled a gun on her and her father after a verbal altercation.

Earlier this year, George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder charges in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in a gated Sanford community.