But now, girlfriend Samantha Scheibe is revealing that the volatility started months before that 911 call was made.
Through text messages and phone calls exchanged over the span of a few weeks, Scheibe and her mother Hope Mason spoke with Local 6 about her relationship with the former neighborhood watch volunteer and the fear he has instilled in Scheibe.
Scheibe said her relationship with Zimmerman decayed as he fought bouts of depression. She said she feared him, but said she stayed with him because she thought she could help him.
By the end of October, Scheibe said she demanded that Zimmerman get professional help for depression. She claims that in response, Zimmerman moved all of her furniture, clothes and food out of her Seminole County home.
“She’s scared is the bottom line,” Scheibe’s mother, Mason, wrote in a text message.
Scheibe and her mother started to seek interviews with national media outlets. Mason said she hoped by Scheibe doing the interview, she would force Zimmerman to get help – and the attention would keep Scheibe safe.
“Things have gotten hotter on her end. He has shown up two times already today to her house, so we need to make a move sooner than later so she stays safe,” Mason wrote in a text message.
But soon after, the couple got back together. Things, however, did not get better.
Battling a deep depression after his acquittal in the murder of Trayvon Martin, Scheibe said that Zimmerman tried to kill himself multiple times, once putting a gun in his mouth and threatening to pull the trigger.
She said he spiraled into a very deep depression after the media frenzy went away and while he was prescribed medication, after a while he stopped taking it.
Scheibe described how he spent days in bed, refusing to get up.
One day she found him passed out with an empty bottle of sleeping pills on his side table. She claims he overdosed and she wasn’t able to revive him but noticed he was still breathing.
When he did wake, she said he started crying and then put a gun inside his mouth, telling her he was ready to end it all. She said she talked him out of killing himself.
Scheibe even admitted to Local 6 that a lot of Zimmerman’s depression stemmed from him not being in the media spotlight after the trial.
She says she believes Zimmerman enjoyed the attention he was getting in the news, while also knowing he wasn’t able to carve out a “normal existence” if he was always a headline.