Closing arguments begin Friday in case against man who shot at Zimmerman

FOX 35 News at 5 p.m.

- The man who fired a gun at George Zimmerman during an altercation in May of last year explained to the court on Thursday why he took such drastic action. 

"I was scared to death. I thought I was gonna get shot dead right there," said Matthew Apperson. 

Apperson fired one shot that hit Zimmerman’s truck on May 11, 2015, along Lake Mary Blvd. in Lake Mary.   Some of the glass from the impact scratched Zimmerman in the face, and he received minor injuries.

Apperson said it all started when Zimmerman pulled up next to him at a stoplight a year prior to the shooting. He said Zimmerman and his passenger accused Apperson of pointing a finger at them.   "He said, 'By the way, I am gonna kill you!  I’m gonna shoot you just the way I shot Trayvon!'"  Apperson said. 

Two days later, Apperson said Zimmerman showed up at his workplace.   "Hours after the guy threatened to kill me, he’s right next to my office complex," explained Apperson.  Police were called, but investigators determined that no crime was committed.  

Eight months later is when Apperson saw Zimmerman again on Lake Mary Bvld.  He said, when he tried to pass  Zimmerman’s truck,  Zimmerman grabbed for a gun.

Apperson said, "A movement caught my eye, his hand with a gun outreached, pointed at my car. I didn’t know whether he was gonna roll down the window and fire or fire through the window so I pulled my gun and shot at him."

Zimmerman was called to the stand on Thursday as the jury’s last witness.  Apperson’s lawyers only had a few questions for Zimmerman.  Instead of asking about this case, the questions were all about how Zimmerman shot and killed Martin in February of 2012.  A last look for the jury at how Zimmerman might be considered threatening.

A lawyer asked Zimmerman, "You shot him [Martin] in the chest?" Zimmerman replied, " I didn’t do anything to provoke it, I thought that was the question sir.  To save my own life."

A jury acquitted Zimmerman in the Martin case in 2013.   Closing arguments in the Apperson will begin on Friday.

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