The former neighborhood watchman who rose to infamy after he shot and killed an unarmed teenager in Florida is once again flexing his earning muscle from the 2012 killing, for which he was acquitted. George Zimmerman stands to make more than $120,000 from the online auction of the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin, TMZ reported.
The auction, facilitated by United Gun Group, attracted hundreds of bogus bids before it ended Wednesday. It was not immediately clear who stands to buy the gun, but the bids were eventually whittled down to seven legitimate potential buyers before the winning bidder emerged.
Zimmerman reacted Wednesday in apparent glee to the nearly $140,000 winning bid, Click Orlando reported. Addressing his "Fellow Patriots" in a statement, Zimmerman gave "the glory to God" for the big payday. His full statement follows below.
First and foremost, I would like to thank and give the glory to God for a successful auction that has raised funds for several worthy causes. I would like to thank Todd Underwood and UnitedGunGroup.com for their moral fortitude in hosting my firearm auction. I would also like to thank all members of UnitedGunGroup for their support and words of encouragement. I also appreciate the many former members of GunBroker AKA GunJoker.com for terminating their relationship with the Nazi loving, (go to their website and search “Nazi”) liberal, liars at Gunbroker.com. At this time, the auction with United Gun Group is closed. The process of notifying the winning bidder will begin immediately. The winning bidder will ultimately decide if they want their information to be maintained in confidentiality and they are assured that I will withhold their identity from all media and private parties. Please visit this page GMZ1776.com or email GMZfirearm@gmail.com for updates and notifications of future auction items.
One of the bids that was later determined to be false was by someone named "Racist McShootFace," the Associated Press reported. Other names of bogus bidders included "Donald Trump" and "Tamir Rice," two names that have been associated with various levels of alleged racism — the former as an agent of it and the latter as a victim of it. The shooting of Martin — an African-American — by Zimmerman, who is Hispanic and white, as well as his ultimate acquittal, were both characterized by some as being racist in nature.
In submitting the gun for auction, Zimmerman, 32, advertised it as "an American firearm icon" on GunBroker.com, before the user-generated website canceled the listing upon receiving unwanted attention. "We want no part in the listing on our website or in any of the publicity it is receiving," the site wrote last week in a statement.
During the lead-up to his murder trial, Zimmerman solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations for his legal team. He also signed a reportedly lucrative book deal and has sold art inspired by the notorious killing, among other efforts to apparently capitalize from the media scrutiny that followed the case.
In one instance, a Florida gun store that advertised itself as being "Muslim-free" put one of Zimmerman's paintings up for sale, TIME reported. After living a life of relative anonymity prior to the shooting as an insurance underwriter, Zimmerman now has a reported net worth of $2 million.
Zimmerman was out patrolling his suburban Orlando neighborhood Feb. 26, 2012, when he says he was confronted by Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old who was returning from buying candy at a convenience store. The confrontation turned physical, with Zimmerman fatally shooting Martin, alleging self-defense. The trial, which began in June 2013, ended four weeks later with Zimmerman's acquittal of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges.
Since his acquittal, Zimmerman has had numerous run-ins with law enforcement, including assault charges against his then-girlfriend, road rage and traffic stops. Several of those incidents allegedly involved a gun, Fusion reported.