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The father of a teen killed in Parkland interrupts Biden with a call for more action on shootings

Manuel Oliver, whose son, Joaquin, was killed in the Florida school shooting, objected to the celebratory nature of President Joe Biden's event for the new gun law.
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WASHINGTON — The father of one of the teenagers killed in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting in 2018 interrupted President Joe Biden at a White House event Monday meant to celebrate a new law aimed at reducing gun violence.

Manuel Oliver's 17-year-old son, Joaquin, was one of the 17 people killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The elder Oliver was one of several survivors and family members at the White House event.

Oliver interjected as Biden was saying the bill was proof that, "despite the naysayers, we can make meaningful progress on dealing with gun violence."

"We have to do more than that," Oliver yelled from the audience.

Manuel Oliver, whose son Joaquin was killed in the Parkland mass shooting, interrupts President Joe Biden as he speaks about Safer Communities Act on the South Lawn of the White House on July 11, 2022.
Manuel Oliver, whose son, Joaquin, was killed in the Parkland, Fla., mass shooting, interrupts President Joe Biden on Monday.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

"Sit down and hear what I have to say," Biden responded, gesturing to Oliver.

Oliver repeated that more has to be done, and Biden said: "Let him talk. Let him talk. Because make no mistake about it, this legislation is real progress. More has to be done."

Oliver's spokesperson, J.P. Hervis, said that Oliver never thought the event should be a celebration and that it would allow Republicans to claim they had taken action to address gun violence and avoid additional change.

Ahead of the White House event, Oliver tweeted, "The word CELEBRATION has no space in a society that saw 19 kids massacred just a month ago."

Oliver has previously criticized the Biden administration for not doing enough to respond to mass shootings. He climbed a crane in Washington this year to demand that the president or Congress pass meaningful measures.

"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 a video recorded high above the street.