George Zimmerman signs fan autographs as 'guest of honour' at gun show in Florida

The event, headed up by the man who fatally shot unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012, almost didn't happen due to protests

George Zimmerman, the man who fatally shot black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012, was the ‘celebrity guest’ of honour at a gun show in Florida over the weekend.

The former neighbourhood watchman had a table at the New Orlando Gun Show especially to sign autographs and pose for photographs with 'fans'.

However, during the six hour event, fewer than 20 people asked for him to sign the free promotional shots of him with his dog.

One couple, who gave their names to the New York Daily News as Melissa and Matt, told the publication that they were the only people waiting to meet him.

“He seemed nervous and actually a little scared to be there. He also appeared emotional, like he was really thankful and touched that people would come out to see him,” said Melissa.

“It was pretty weird to meet him in person — and wow, he has gained a lot of weight!”

 

Zimmerman, who hit the headlines after taking part in a string of promotional interviews to mark Martin’s death, said that he was enjoying himself, despite the poor turn-out.

“Everything’s good. We’re having fun,” he was quoted as saying. “I’m just here to meet supporters.”

He posted the following on Twitter after the event:


As well as retweeting this somewhat questionable post from  a follower:


And also making out that far more people had turned up than actually had:



Zimmerman was joined by his girlfriend Samantha Scheibe, who accused him of threatening her with a gun last year.

According to organiser Mike Piwowarski, the meet-and-greet event was initially cancelled, after the original venue hired for the gun show backed out at the last minute when they found out that Zimmerman would be making the controversial appearance.

“Come on out and meet George Z! He’s here a few more hours. And no matter what you read, there are no protesters, lunatics or other varieties of a— clowns,” the store posted via its official Facebook page.

Piwowarski had invited Zimmerman to attend after meeting him through a mutual friend.

Zimmerman, who was controversially acquitted of the second-degree murder and manslaughter of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in July 2013, announced his ambitions to become a lawyer to prevent ‘miscarriages of justice’ from occurring in the future last month.

“I'd like to professionally ... Continue my education and hopefully become an attorney,” he told CNN show New Day.

“I think that's the best way to stop the miscarriage of justice that happened to me from happening to somebody else. I don't think it should ever happen to anyone ever again, not one person.”

However, in the same interview, he also admitted he was worried he'd missed Martin when he shot and fatally wounded him that evening.

“I was afraid it had gone through his clothes and that it was going to go ... Get lost, and, um, you know, go into a house and… Because the young man was still talking to me, as I have said.

“So I thought that it hadn't… Affected him, and I got worried, and I said, 'I hope that it hasn't—that the bullet hasn't hit a neighbour.'”

Last month, a celebrity boxing match featuring George Zimmerman and rapper DMX was cancelled.

Taking to Twitter, promoter Damon Feldman posted that he was “done with Zimmerman”, and that he had made the decision to pull the match  because he was “the wrong person to put in a the ring and define celebrity boxing”.

A second promoter is since thought to be working on a new boxing event for Zimmerman.

Zimmerman was found not guilty of all charges, after he fatally shot unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin during a fight in February 2012 inside a gated community in Sanford. He claimed that he had killed Martin with a weapon in an act of self-defence.

Zimmerman remained without charge for 44 days after the shooting occurred, which led to nationwide protests and sparked furious debate over racial profiling and the right to use weapons in self-defence. Further demonstrations broke out after Zimmerman was acquitted in 2013.

Federal authorities are currently reviewing the entire case to decide whether Martin’s civil rights were violated.

Read More: Zimmerman 'Worried He'd Missed' Trayvon Martin
Zimmerman Painting Attracts $100,000 On eBay
Zimmerman Angles For Fight With Kanye West
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Management Trainer

£30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Exciting career opportunity to join East...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Scientist / Research Assistant

£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious start-up company b...

Reach Volunteering: Chair of Trustees

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Do you love the Engl...

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines