The shooting range target wears a hoodie and carries a bottle of iced tea. Cross hairs lie over the chest, just above the bag of Skittles that peek out of the pocket.
An online seller told Orlando’s WKMG-TV he wanted to profit off Trayvon Martin’s death and designed the paper targets to resemble the dead Florida teenager. He said they sold out almost immediately.
“My main motivation was to make money off the controversy,” the unidentified seller said in an email exchange with the station.
He didn’t disclose how many targets he made but said, “The response is overwhelming. I sold out in 2 days.”
Volunteer neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges in Martin’s death, claiming he shot the unarmed teen in self-defense. Police said Martin was carrying Skittles and an iced tea when he died.
An advertisement for the targets — sold in packs of 10 under the name “Trayvon Martin Targets” — on a firearms auction website stated the sellers “support Zimmerman and believe he is innocent and that he shot a thug.”
WKMG said when they first approached the seller online, their reporter was told the targets were available for purchase. After being informed the business was the subject of a news investigation, the seller claimed the targets were no longer available.
Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara told WKMG the targets represented “the highest level of disgust and the lowest level of civility.” He said he worried about the impact the targets would have on Martin’s family.
“It’s this type of hatred — that’s what this is, it’s hate-mongering — that’s going to make it more difficult to try this case,” O’Mara said.
WKMG said it reached out to the Martin family but did not receive a response.
According to the station, gun owners have been abuzz about the targets online — mostly expressing their disgust.
“Even though I fully believe Zimmerman was justified in shooting, Trayvon was still a human being and does not deserve that kind of disrespect in death,” one owner wrote.