The man who shot at George Zimmerman on Monday is claiming he was trying to protect himself, the Orlando Sentinel reported on Monday.
Matthew Apperson appeared alongside his attorney, Mark NeJame, as well as his wife and mother following his encounter with Zimmerman, which was reportedly the latest in a series of clashes between both men.
According to NeJame, Apperson “simply maintained that he acted in self-defense. We see everything to suggest that is correct and nothing to suggest otherwise but we do not think it is appropriate to get into any of the facts specifically right now.”
NeJame did not identify the events leading up to his client’s run-in with Zimmerman in Lake Mary, Florida, but he did say that Apperson was “legally justified to shoot” and has a concealed-carry permit. Neither Apperson nor Zimmerman had been charged as of Monday night.
WKMG-TV reported that Apperson went to a local medical facility and asked a staff member, Kenneth Cornell, to call 911, saying he shot at Zimmerman. Cornell said that Apperson also told him he fired because he saw Zimmerman brandishing a gun of his own. After reaching emergency dispatchers, Cornell said, he passed the phone to Apperson.
“He said, ‘My name is Matt Apperson and this has been an ongoing dispute between George and I. This isn’t the first time, this is the third incident and I shot him,’” Cornell said.
Police said Zimmerman flagged down an officer and told him that Apperson had shot at his vehicle. He was treated for minor injuries after getting hit by glass from the windshield stemming from the shot.
The two men were reportedly involved in another incident last September. Apperson accused Zimmerman of threatening to kill him, saying, “Do you know who I am?”
Zimmerman claimed self-defense when he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida in February 2012. He was acquitted of second-degree murder charges in July 2013.