“I dont see how the homeowners association could be liable for this.”
Possibly by tacitly allowing Zimmerman to operate on their behalf and on their grounds as a “watch captain” they could be liable for a “wrongful death” if that’s what is decided. Sleazy lawyers find ways to sue everyone and since the Homeowners assoc probably has insurance its worth it to them to make this go away.
The only logical basis for liability for the HOA, and thus its insurer, is as you suggest: that the HOA was responsible for GZ’s actions because it either sponsored, or condoned his work as Neighborhood Watch Captain, and that he was acting in that capacity when the shooting occured.
This has interesting implications. If the HOA accepts the argument that GZ was acting as its agent, why isn’t the HOA liable for the cost of GZ’s defense? It could argue that he was conducting himself negligently, or willfully improperly, but if the insurer feels the HOA was $1 Million + responsible for his conduct, that wouldn’t seem to hold water.