Updated on April 10, 2012 8:53 a.m.: A number of websites have come forward claiming to collect financial support for George Zimmerman’s legal fees. But attorneys for the man who fatally shot Trayvon Martin told NBC News on Monday that Zimmerman will be accepting donations from supporters via a PayPal account on therealgeorgezimmerman.com
“I have created a Paypal account solely linked on this website as I would like to provide an avenue to thank my supporters personally and ensure that any funds provided are used only for living expenses and legal defense, in lieu of my forced inability to maintain employment," Zimmerman writes on his website. "I will also personally, maintain accountability of all funds received. I reassure you, every donation is appreciated.”
Though he hasn't been formally charged, the neighborhood watchman who shot and killed Trayvon Martin is setting up a fundraising campaign to cover his legal fees, NBC News reports.
George Zimmerman said he was acting in self defense when he fatally shot an unarmed 17-year-old who was walking home from a convenience store in Sanford, Fla., in February. Zimmerman is protected under the Stand Your Ground Law, but federal officials are currently investigating the case, which has sparked national outrage.
Zimmerman left his job at a mortgage risk management firm after the shooting, according to the Grio and is hoping to drum up financial support to pay for his lawyers and living expenses through his soon-to-launch fundraising site, www.zimmermandefense.com.
"George Zimmerman's family has set up a website for anyone who would like help George and his family with their living expenses and for his defense," attorneys Hal Uhrig and Craig Sonner said in a statement obtained by NBC News.
Zimmerman has already found some support from gun advocacy groups, HLN reports. The National Association for Legal Gun Defense says it will donate $10,000 to help pay for his legal expenses and Legal Boom, a Florida-based gun rights group, pledged to back Zimmerman, whose reputation, they say, has been unfairly "ruined."
"We wanted to help someone who we feel has been wronged and found guilty in the court of public opinion,” Chris Kossmann of Legal Boom, told HLN. “People have been crying for justice but we don’t think people know what real justice is. As of yet nobody’s stood up for him [Zimmerman].”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that George Zimmerman was seeking donations via www.zimmermandefense.com. It also stated that Trayvon Martin was shopping at a candy store. He purchased candy from a convenience store.