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May 12, 2015

Florida police recover three guns in Zimmerman shooting incident

Central Florida police investigating a roadway shooting involving George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murdering an unarmed black teenager in 2013, said on Tuesday they have recovered three handguns.

No charges have been filed so far in the shooting, which took place on Monday in Lake Mary, Florida, a suburb of Orlando.

Zimmerman was only slightly injured by flying glass after he was shot at in his car by Matthew Apperson, police said.

The two men were involved in a previous roadside dispute in September 2014 when Apperson accused Zimmerman of threatening to kill him but declined to press charges. [ID:nL1N0RD27W]

Police said Zimmerman did not fire a gun in the Monday incident, his latest brush with law enforcement since his 2013 trial for the killing of Trayvon Martin, 17. 

On Tuesday, Lake Mary police said a search of Apperson's vehicle turned up two handguns, a 40 caliber Glock 22, and a 357 revolver with one expended shell casing in the cylinder.

Police also recovered Zimmerman’s Glock handgun but had yet to search Zimmerman’s vehicle. 

Police said they were alerted to the incident when an officer was flagged down by Zimmerman, "who stated that a person just fired a weapon at him while he was in his vehicle."

Simultaneously, Lake Mary police received a 911 call from someone who said Apperson told him that he had just shot at Zimmerman. 

Apperson's attorney, Mark NeJame told WFTV news in Orlando that his client made initial statements in a 911 call and to law enforcement at the scene.

“He simply maintained that he acted in self defense,” the attorney said, according to the broadcaster. “We see everything to suggest that is correct and nothing to suggest otherwise."

Zimmerman, 31, shot Martin in nearby Sanford in February 2012, in what he said was in self-defense. The incident prompted civil rights rallies and drew international attention to Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law.

While Zimmerman no longer lives in central Florida, he unexpectedly ran into Apperson on Monday while visiting relatives for Mother's Day, his attorney, Don West, told Reuters.

Zimmerman recognized Apperson, who was flashing his lights, honking and shouting insults, West said.

As Zimmerman attempted to make a U-turn to leave, Apperson pulled up alongside his vehicle and "pulled out a gun and shot it through the passenger window," West said.

The motive for the shooting was not immediately known, police said.