South Florida man beats wife, gets shot by stepson, deputies say

MCSO: William Zimmerman, 53, told detectives he would kill stepson after being released from hospital

(Monroe County Sheriff's Office)

MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – A South Florida man who was shot last month by his stepson was arrested Tuesday after being released from a hospital in Miami, authorities confirmed on Wednesday.

According to Adam Linhardt, a spokesman for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, William Zimmerman, 53, of Big Pine Key, was shot by his 25-year-old stepson on June 26 as the stepson witnessed Zimmerman beating his mother.

The Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call around 7:30 p.m. that night from the victim’s son. Linhardt said the son shot Zimmerman while he was on the phone with the dispatcher.

“The stepson began administering first-aid until he was ordered out of the residence by arriving Deputies,” Linhardt said in a news release. “The stepson was cooperative with Deputies and Detectives throughout the incident.”

According to Linhardt, the man said he shot his stepfather to defend himself and his mother from immediate harm.

“He also stated his mother is a regular victim of domestic violence and that his stepfather routinely threatens to kill him, her and law enforcement,” Linhardt said. “He added his stepfather is known to possess firearms.”

Linhardt said Zimmerman’s wife had injuries indicative of being beaten and she confirmed to detectives that her husband regularly beats her and threatens to kill her and her son.

The victim was taken to Lower Keys Medical Center to be treated for her injuries.

Linhardt said Zimmerman gave a conflicting story to detectives, claiming “he was shot without warning, adding with expletives that once he was able to leave the hospital he was going to kill his stepson.”

Zimmerman has been charged with battery. Authorities confirm that the stepson has not been charged as the shooting appeared to be in self-defense.


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Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.