Zimmerman wraps up auction for gun used in black teen's slaying

2016-05-19 10:50
Sanford police officer Timothy Smith holds up the gun that was used to kill Trayvon Martin. (Joe Burbank, AP)

Sanford police officer Timothy Smith holds up the gun that was used to kill Trayvon Martin. (Joe Burbank, AP)

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Washington - A Florida neighbourhood watchman who killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin was verifying offers on Wednesday from his third attempt at auctioning the gun used in the slaying, the auction site said.

It was not clear how much the final bid was and whether a sale had been finalised after two simultaneous auctions on the United Gun Group site.

Nationwide protests erupted over the shooting of 17-year-old Martin in 2012, in what the watchman George Zimmerman said was self-defence but which the teen's family and friends claimed was a murder driven by racism.

Zimmerman's trial and subsequent acquittal exposed deep racial fissures in US society.

United Gun Group said in a statement on Twitter that it ran simultaneous auctions for the Kel-Tec PF-9 pistol - one for the pre-qualified bidders and one for the general public.

'Trolled the trolls'

The Orlando Sentinel newspaper quoted Zimmerman as saying in a statement that "the process of notifying the winning bidder will begin immediately," without providing additional details.

Zimmerman's auction ended at noon on Wednesday with the high bid of $138 900 by a user named "John Smith," the Orlando Sentinel said.

But United Gun Group said that was the "fake" public auction, adding the hashtag "trolled the trolls" in its tweet.

Zimmerman had to pull his first auction for the Kel-Tec PF-9 pistol from the site last week after pranksters drove the bidding up to more than $65 million, using pseudonyms like "Racist McShootface."

Zimmerman had previously listed the gun on another auction site, but it swiftly removed the listing saying it did not want the negative publicity.

United Gun Group has defended its role in hosting Zimmerman's auction, saying it operates in accordance with US law.

"Having this stance ensures that every member is treated 100 percent equal regardless of personal opinions, the website said in its statement.

Read more on:    george zimmerman  |  trayvon martin  |  us

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