George Zimmerman has reportedly sold the gun he used to shoot and kill teenager Trayvon Martin.
The former neighborhood watch leader shot Martin, who was unarmed, in February 2012 in Florida.
There are conflicting reports about the final sum paid for the weapon. The Guardian reported Zimmerman would receive $138,000, but TMZ alleged this was a fake bid and the real final price was $120,000.
Zimmerman’s previous attempts to sell the Kel-Tech PF-9 9mm weapon, which he referred to as an “American firearm icon,” were thwarted by fake bidders. TMZ reported that seven verified users participated in the final auction, after the gun auction website introduced a requirement for email verification to try to block fake bidders.
Despite this, some still made it through. A leading bidder during the last hour went by the name of “Racist McShootface,” the Guardian reported.
Zimmerman said that some of the proceeds raised by selling the firearm would be used to “fight BLM [Black Lives Matter] violence against Law Enforcement officers, ensure the demise of Angela Corey’s persecution career and Hillary Clinton’s anti-firearm rhetoric.” Corey led the attempt to prosecute Zimmerman for murdering Martin.
Zimmerman’s decision to sell the weapon has been sharply criticized. Miami Herald columnist Leonard Bitts described it as a “national shame” that the auction had taken place.
Zimmerman hit back in an interview with The Daily Beast, saying Martin’s parents were partly to blame.
“They didn’t raise their son right,” Zimmerman told the Daily Beast. “He attacked a complete stranger and attempted to kill him.”
He also spoke about the gun.
“It was what was used to save my life from a near death brutal attack by Trayvon Martin,” he said. “If it was a stick or mace, it’s the one tool I had that prevented Trayvon from killing me.”
Zimmerman’s version of events has been challenged ever since the incident occurred. A police dispatcher told him there was no need to follow Martin after Zimmerman called to say he was “suspicious.” When police arrived, Zimmerman did not appear to be in immanent danger, having only a bleeding nose and injuries to the back of his head.
Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in the case in 2013.