George Zimmerman has sold the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin, a black teenager in Florida in 2012. The incident sparked protests around the country and highlighted the simmering racial tensions in the US.
Zimmerman said on Friday he sold the gun he used to kill the 17-year-old Martin for $250,000, (222,000 euros) according to television reports.
Bidding for the gun, which was hosted by UnitedGunGroup.com, closed on Wednesday. The auction drew heavy backlash from around the country, as well as from representatives of Martin's parents, who called it "outrageous."
Zimmerman said on his website that the auction had "raised funds for several worthy causes," including efforts to counter what he said were violent actions against law enforcement officers by the group Black Lives Matter.
United Gun Group defended holding the auction in a Twitter post shortly after bidding closed.
A souvenir with baggage
Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder charges after shooting Martin in his Florida neighborhood of Sanford in 2012. The decision sparked outrage from civil rights groups around the country, and was one of a string of incidents over the past several years that have sparked a nationwide debate on racism.
In an interview with Florida TV channel WOFL on Wednesday, Zimmerman said the auction was part of an effort to put the past behind him.
"I thought it's time to move past the firearm," he said. "And if I sell it and it sells, I move past it. Otherwise, it's going in a safe for my grandkids and never to be used or seen again."
blc/jm (Reuters, dpa)