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Cops trying to recover footage from Zimmerman iPad after dispute

Joe Burbank / Joe Burbank / Pool via AP file

George and Shellie Zimmerman, shown here in court in June before his acquittal.

George Zimmerman's wife used her iPad to record a confrontation with her estranged husband, and investigators are trying to recover the footage, Florida police said Tuesday.

"We're going to be taking it to be forensically analyzed," Lake Mary, Fla., Police public information officer Zach Hudson told NBC News. "It should have a good bit of information on it."

Cops have already reviewed dashcam video taken by officers who responded to the argument that erupted as the spouses each collected belongings from the home on Monday afternoon.

With guns drawn, the officers ordered George Zimmerman to get out of his car, walk backwards with his hands in the air and get down on his knees before they cuffed him, video released Tuesday showed.

Police are waiting to see what’s on the iPad – which was busted into pieces – before deciding whether to charge either of the Zimmermans with domestic battery, Hudson said.

With guns drawn police officers order George Zimmerman to get out of his car, walk backwards with his hands in the air and get down on his knees before cuffing him.

"As of right now it could be either one or it could be no one," Hudson told reporters. "It depends on what that iPad has on it."

Shellie Zimmerman, who called 911 during the dispute, said that her husband grabbed the iPad from her and smashed it, but he told cops she struck him with the tablet, police said.

She also told police that he threatened her with a handgun and attacked her father, although she and and her dad later told officers they never actually saw a gun, Hudson said.

No one was charged, and cops said they found no gun.

“We took him down at gunpoint, and we searched him physically. There was no weapon,” Hudson said — adding that police did not have probable cause to search Zimmerman’s car.

He said security video from inside the home only captured the aftermath, "people pointing at each other, people yelling at each other … nothing conclusive."

After five years of marriage, Shellie Zimmerman filed for divorce less than a week ago — a month after her husband was acquitted of murder in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin.

A spokesperson for the Lake May, Florida police dept. tells reporters that a broken iPad may hold footage of the events that occurred inside the Zimmerman household.

On Monday, she and her father and a friend showed up at the house, where the couple had lived during the trial.  Subsequently, George Zimmerman showed up with some friends, Hudson said.

As each was collecting their belongings, a dispute developed, he said.

In the 911 call obtained by NBC News, Shellie Zimmerman told the dispatcher her husband had “accosted” her father and “punched” him in the nose, leaving a “mark” on his face.

“They put hands on each other,” Hudson said, adding that fire officials who checked out the dad saw a red mark on his nose but no injuries that warranted treatment.

“Were punches thrown, were they not thrown? Who’s to say,” he added. “But neither one of those parties want to file charges.”

Since it being treated as a domestic  violence case, however, the police will make final determination as to whether charges will be filed.

At the beginning of the 911 call, Shellie Zimmerman told the dispatcher: “He’s in his car and he continually has his hand on his gun and he keeps saying, ‘Step closer.’ He’s just threatening all of us with his firearm.”

Hudson suggested it was possible that in a state of fear, the wife jumped to conclusions when her husband put his hand some place he would normally have a weapon.

“I don’t know what he’s capable of,” she said on the call. “I’m really, really scared.”

Hudson said if the former neighborhood watch volunteer did break the iPad, it wouldn’t necessarily lead to charges because the tablet would be considered communal property that either spouse could destroy with impunity.

Zimmerman’s criminal defense attorney, Mark O’Mara, is not representing him in connection with the dispute or the divorce but will remain his lawyer for matters stemming from the Feb. 26, 2012, shooting of Martin – which sparked a national debate on guns, race and self-defense laws.

In late August, Shellie Zimmerman pleaded guilty to a perjury charge for misleading a Florida court about her family's finances during a bail hearing for her husband. Her plea deal — in which she avoided a felony conviction — gave her a year's probation and 100 hours of community service.

Editor's note: George Zimmerman has sued NBC Universal for defamation. The company strongly denies the allegation.