Trayvon Martin Case: Details released on George Zimmerman's background



SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - More details were released on Thursday about George Zimmerman's past before he shot and killed 17-year-old Travyon Martin.

Part of the investigation found Zimmerman had first purchased a handgun because of a dangerous dog in his neighborhood.

The news agency Reuters completed the investigation into Zimmerman's background.

The agency said it obtained the information based on a series of interviews with friends, neighbors, co-workers, school mates and law enforcement officials.

The report said Zimmerman's first concern at the Retreat at Twin Lakes was a loose pit bull in 2009.   After three complaint calls, Seminole County Animal Services told him his pepper spray wouldn't work.

That November, he and his wife completed firearms training at a local lodge and received concealed weapons gun permits. 

In early December, the couple reportedly bought a pair of guns.

George picked a .9-mm handgun.

By June 2011, the article states that Zimmerman's attention had shifted from a dog running free to a wave of robberies that rattled his neighborhood.

The article also delves into his family background, calling it "racially integrated," with black roots.

It found that after bouncing job to job at a car dealership, in insurance sales and a mortgage company, Zimmerman enrolled at Seminole State College in criminal justice.

And then in September, because of at least eight burglaries reported in the 14 months prior to the Martin shooting, Zimmerman was asked to head a new neighborhood watch program.

Reporters found in an e-newsletter for February that "the Sanford Police Department has announced an increased patrol within our neighborhood," and said, "If you've been a victim of a crime in the community, after calling police, please contact our captain, George Zimmerman."

According to Reuters, the last time Zimmerman called police to report a crime he followed protocol and waited for police to arrive. However, they were too later and the suspect got away.

On Feb. 26, he was heard on the non-emergency recording saying these ****** always get away.

Moments later, Martin was dead.

Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara said he may not use 'Stand Your Ground' as part of his defense.

Zimmerman told police he was defending himself when shot and killed Martin.

The case has sparked new controversy over the 'Stand Your Ground' statute, which protects victims of violent attacks.

"I don't know if it has any application in my case, but at least it's come to the forefront," said O'Mara.

On Thursday, Dennis Baxley of Ocala, who wrote the bill in 2005, said it has resulted in $120,000 fewer violent acts.

Governor Rick Scott recently created a task force to examine the law to see if any changes need to be made.