George Zimmerman and his wife began carrying handguns after repeated run-ins with a pit bull, and the volunteer neighborhood watchman continued his armed vigil over a gated community in Sanford, Fla., as a rash of burglaries left neighbors frightened, according to a report.
George Zimmerman and his wife Shellie ---->
The couple took firearms training courses and got handguns and concealed carry permits in late 2009 -- three years before Zimmerman shot unarmed teen Trayvon Martin dead -- after a pit bull named Big Boi menaced Shellie Zimmerman near their home, Reuters reported.
Seminole County Animal Services officer; "Don't use pepper spray ... Get a gun."
Big Boi later spooked a dog owned by Zimmerman's mother-in-law, prompting the Zimmermans to contact Seminole County Animal Services and to buy pepper spray, the news agency reported. After a third encounter with the dog, Zimmerman called authorities and an officer who came to the house advised him to take up arms.
"Don't use pepper spray," the officer told the Zimmermans, according to a friend who relayed the conversation to a Reuters reporter. "It'll take two or three seconds to take effect, but a quarter-second for the dog to jump you. Get a gun." Read more: