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The man accused of shooting at George Zimmerman during a confrontation along a Florida road last month has been charged with attempted murder, the state attorney's office said Thursday.
Matthew Apperson, 36, who is accused of shooting at Zimmerman while he was sitting in his vehicle last month, is now charged with attempted second-degree murder with a firearm.
Apperson was previously charged with aggravated assault and battery with a deadly weapon and firing a missile into an occupied conveyance for the May 11 road-side incident.
"Our law enforcement community and the State Attorney's Office works vigorously to ensure people may travel our busy streets, going about their business, without fear," State Attorney Phil Archer said in a statement announcing the charges. "Every resident and visitor to Seminole County deserves this freedom."
Zimmerman was driving to a doctor's appointment on the afternoon of May 11 in Lake Mary, Florida, when Apperson allegedly fired his gun into the passenger window of his truck, according to Zimmerman's attorney. He suffered minor injuries from flying glass and debris.
Zimmerman called officers around 12:40 p.m. ET that afternoon to report the shooting, at the same time that Apperson called 911 claiming he had shot at somebody.
Apperson's attorney, Michael LaFay, told The Associated Press that the new charge did not change the facts of the case and his client till plans to plead not guilty during an arraignment next week. He is out on a $35,000 bond.
"Am I surprised when prosecutors overreach with the heaviest charge they can possibly level? It's like a normal day at the office," LaFay told the AP. "At some point, it's like the old saying about bringing coal to Newcastle. What's the difference?"
Lake Mark, Florida, Police Chief Steve Bracknell told NBC affiliate WESH the attempted shooting appeared related to an "ongoing dispute." The pair was previously involved in a road-rage incident last September.
In September, Apperson accused Zimmerman of saying "he was going to shoot me dead" during the road-rage dispute, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Apperson did not press charges at the time.
In 2013, Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder by a Florida jury in the shooting death of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin. The Justice Department declined to bring civil rights charges against Zimmerman.
Zimmerman filed a defamation suit against NBC News in 2012. A judge dismissed that claim last year, and Zimmerman has appealed.