The police chief in George Zimmerman's Florida town apparently agreed with a concerned citizen that he is a "Sandy Hook, Aurora waiting to happen," according to emails published by liberal website Think Progress.
Lake Mary Police Chief Steve Bracknell was responding to Santiago Rodriguez, who wrote in using a contact form on the department's website after police were called over a confrontation between Zimmerman and his estranged wife Monday.
According to the email chain published by Think Progress, Rodriguez sharply criticized the department's handling of the incident, in which Shellie Zimmerman first accused George of threatening her with a gun at her father's home and punching her father in the face. Shellie Zimmerman later dropped the claim that a gun was involved, and she and her father decided not to press charges. Zimmerman claimed his father-in-law was the aggressor when Zimmerman went to the home to document his wife taking property they had not agreed to.
George Zimmerman is escorted to a home by a Lake Mary police officer, center, and Shawn Vincent, an assistant to his attorney, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, in Lake Mary, Fla. , after a domestic incident in the neighborhood where Zimmerman and his wife Shellie lived during his murder trial. (AP)
"Zimmerman is a Sandy Hook, Aurora waiting to happen your job is to protect the communities you serve and you are failing big time," Rodriguez wrote, referring to last year's mass shootings at a Connecticut elementary school and a Colorado movie theater.
In a lengthy response, Bracknell rebutted some of Rodriguez's points about his department's work but confirmed that Zimmerman did punch his father-in-law in the nose as well as smash his wife's iPad she said she was using to document the encounter.
"Your reference to Sandy Hook...................I agree," Bracknell wrote.
Officer Zach Hudson, a spokesman for the police department, confirmed the email exchange to TheBlaze, describing it as a "frank conversation" the chief had with a citizen. Hudson said there are multiple documented instances of Zimmerman's "history of spending time with weapons," including a trip to a gun store and a recent traffic stop in Texas in which he had a firearm in his car, in addition to the night he fatally shot Trayvon Martin.
"I think [what] the chief was really illuminating is that there's just this consistency with Mr. Zimmerman and his having a gun somehow involved in the various things that he's been doing," Hudson said.
He said the department received 34,000 emails following the Zimmerman incident and credited the chief with responding to as many as he could.
"Of course, we're all rather exhausted on top of everything else, it's been a brutal thing for a small town police department dealing with something on basically an international level," Hudson said.
Read the email exchange below via Think Progress: