SANFORD, Fla. -- Sunday evening, Feb. 26: It was raining in Central Florida while the NBA All Stars game and the Oscars were about to begin on TV.
A 17-year-old high school junior from Miami Gardens serving a 10-day suspension went to 7-Eleven to get candy. It was the third time Trayvon Martin was disciplined at school, so this time his parents sent him up to a quiet, racially mixed gated community in Sanford, Fla., with his dad to get his priorities straight. He was black and wore a hoodie.
George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer who routinely called police to report anything awry, had just made dinner and told his family he was headed to Target. He was Hispanic and wore a holstered Kel Tek 9mm semiautomatic handgun.
The brief encounter between the two at the Retreat at Twin Lakes community would leave one dead and the other in hiding, give rise to a social movement and, at least temporarily, cost the local police chief his job. In the next 30 days, the name "Trayvon" would be tweeted more than 2 million times.