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Father of teen killed in Parkland school massacre climbs crane in D.C. to promote gun reform

Manuel Oliver's son, Joaquin "Guac" Oliver, was killed at the age of 17 in the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
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The father of a boy killed in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting scaled a crane in Washington, D.C., on Monday to demand gun reform, officials said.

Manuel Oliver, father of Joaquin “Guac” Oliver — one of 17 people that died in the Feb. 14, 2018, massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — tweeted a video Monday under the heading, “Happy valentines.”

“The whole world will listen to Joaquin today. He has a very important message. I asked for a meeting with Joe Biden a month ago. Never got that meeting,” Oliver said in the video taken high above the street while the wind was howling.

At another point in the video, Oliver notes a large police presence below him. He wraps up the video by wishing viewers a happy Valentine’s Day.

Oliver also tweeted a selfie and wrote: “I was in DC on December asking to meet @POTUS . Today GUAC is with me making he’s own statement! So the whole nation can judge our reality. 150 feet high in front of the WH. Peaceful action. Police is on the ground!”

Manuel Oliver displays a banner calling on government officials to prioritize gun violence prevention from a construction crane near the White House on Feb. 14, 2022.
Manuel Oliver displays a banner calling on government officials to prioritize gun violence prevention from a construction crane near the White House on Feb. 14, 2022. Oliver's son Joaquin was killed in the Parkland School shooting four years ago today.Stefani Reynolds / AFP - Getty Images

A representative for Oliver said Monday his actions launched an initiative dubbed the “Shock Market,” an attempt at "forcing lawmakers and Americans to face our country’s inaction, which has resulted in a tragic and shameful reputation for gun violence under the influence of the NRA."

“Using near real-time data, the Shock Market tracks gun violence that is taking place under the Biden administration — more than 44,000 as of today — giving Americans the ability to share with the President and his Administration the alarming rates of gun violence epidemic via Twitter," the statement said. "The first step is to get Biden to deliver a comprehensive plan at the state of the union."

A spokesperson with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., said Monday police responded to an incident at 5:40 a.m. One individual was apprehended, and two others were located on a crane. The two other people were taken into custody shortly after 10 a.m., police said.

“Preliminarily, three individuals were arrested from the scene,” police said.

Oliver was one three suspects arrested and charged with unlawful entry and destruction of property, police said Monday afternoon.

Nikolas Cruz pleaded guilty in October, 2021, to 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder after gunning down 14 students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. In addition to the people he killed, he also wounded 17 more.

The Palm Beach Post reported Cruz’s sentencing trial was delayed until at least April.

Armed with an AR-15, Cruz arrived at the high school in an Uber, just before classes were over on Valentine’s Day four years ago. Then 19, Cruz had been expelled from the school the previous year.

Joaquin Oliver, who was 17 when he was killed, was a hip hop and sports lover who became a naturalized American citizen in January 2017, after moving to the United States from Venezuela at the age of 3, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Because students often had difficulty pronouncing his name, Oliver went by the nickname “Guac,” short for “guacamole.”