Father of slain Parkland teen wants Trump to say his son’s name

DALLAS ― The father of a student slain in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting challenged President Donald Trump to visit his home and see his dead son’s bedroom. 

“I haven’t heard from President Trump the name of my son, not even once,” said Manuel Oliver, speaking during a student-led rally outside City Hall in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday morning. Hundreds of activists and students gathered to protest the National Rifle Association, which is holding its annual meeting nearby. 

“It takes one second ― ‘Joaquin Oliver’ ― and you are not able to mention that name,” he said, addressing Trump directly. “It is important, your support, because you could make things happen along with us. Let me rephrase that: You could make it happen faster, because we are going to make it happen.”

RELATED: A timeline of how the Florida high school shooting unfolded

A timeline of how the Florida high school shooting unfolded
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A timeline of how the Florida high school shooting unfolded

Wednesday, February 14, 2018: Sometime after 2 p.m. the gunman begins to make his approach to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, near Fort Lauderdale. 

(Amy Beth Bennett/Sun Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)

2:30 p.m.: The shooting begins.

According to CNN, people first heard shots at 2:30 p.m. Several witnesses have said the gunman pulled the fire alarm before shooting so that people would run into his line of fire.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

2:35 p.m.: Some of the first signs to the outside world that a shooting was underway come from social media. One Twitter user noted that students were texting the about the shooting.
all hell is breaking loose at Douglas high school @Coralspringsfla kids texting about a shooter ???? https://t.co/7NnoipVJpy

2:53 p.m.: Twenty minutes later the Broward County Sheriff's Office publicly acknowledges that a shooting is underway.
#BSO is working a developing incident regarding a report of active shooter located at 5901 Pine Island Rd, Parkland… https://t.co/zrKtdjDxcb

The shooter's exact movements inside the school are not clear. This video was recorded by a student inside a classroom, where gunshots and screaming can be heard.
JUST IN (warning, disturbing video): Cell phone video inside the school as shots were going off at Marjory Stoneman… https://t.co/UAHNy8LnAu

2:55 p.m.: Local media report five injuries in the shooting, the first sense of its scale.

Appears there are at least 5 people injured at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Coral Springs after reports… https://t.co/GB3K6tliYy

People are told to avoid the area.

Avoid the area of Stoneman Douglas HS. #BSO is currently working a developing incident regarding a report of active shooter.

3:10 p.m.: A student tweets an image of the inside of his classroom where he and classmates are hiding.

Still locked in. I checked the local news and there is 20 victims. Long live Majory Stoneman Douglas High. https://t.co/4kQMAlCBWt

3:11 p.m.: Sheriffs confirm that the shooter remains at large.
Follow @browardsheriff for latest info on the #stonemanshooting. Shooter still at large.

3:15 p.m.: Students are seen running from the school grounds.
​​​​​​​MORE: Aerial footage above Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shows students running from grounds of campus after… https://t.co/riKt7KAbT4

Deputies said that Cruz tried to hide himself among the students running away from the shooting.
They eventually identified him by examining surveillance footage and picking him out from the crowd. A witness told the Miami Herald newspaper that Cruz had put on a military ROTC uniform like those used in class while he was running.

(John McCall/Sun Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)

3:58 p.m.: Cruz is arrested around a mile from the school by the neighboring Coconut Creek Police Department. The incident is recorded by a news helicopter.
Possible suspect in custody in #FloridaShooting #StonemanShooting. @wsvn https://t.co/gxisLcEVGf
At about the same time, President Donald Trump sends his "prayers and condolences" to victims.
My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or an… https://t.co/RFJxgM1jhm

Shortly after the tweet, some students who survived the shooting responded in anger.

(Amy Beth Bennett/Sun Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)

4:11 p.m.: Sheriffs confirm that the suspect had been arrested. Cruz is not yet named.
Shooter is now in custody. Scene is still active. #stonemanshooting

4:27 p.m.: Cruz exhibits "labored breathing" after his arrest and was taken to hospital as a precaution. Local news outlets photographed him being loaded up for the journey.
Photo: Suspect is loaded into fire rescue to be transported to hospital https://t.co/SP0rJg5tY5

4:22 p.m.: Sheriffs say 14 people were shot. The figure later increases.
So far we have at least 14 victims. Victims have been and continue to be transported to Broward Health Medical Cent… https://t.co/hWUp5BuMcB

4:30 p.m.: The Associated Press reports that the shooting resulted in "numerous fatalities," the first indication that victims had died.

(John McCall/Sun Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)

4:34 p.m.: The first videos of the arrest emerge.
#NEW: Longer video of suspect arrested @wsvn https://t.co/2ZHmCd69rV

4:59 p.m.: Sheriffs say students are still inside the school and are being removed from classrooms by SWAT teams. The school has about 3,100 students.

(John McCall/Sun Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)

5:15 p.m.: Video on social media shows SWAT teams evacuating students from their hiding places.
My little brother just sent me this video of the swat team evacuating his classroom at stoneman douglas. So scary b… https://t.co/inomdpbpmS

5:30 p.m.: Local and national media begin to name the suspect as Nikolas Cruz. Some initially spell his first name Nicolas, or Nikolaus.
UPDATE: US official: Parkland school shooter identified as Nicolas Cruz.
5:39 p.m.: Parents, who were being held at a staging area near the school, begin to be reunited with their children.
Parents and families of Westglades Middle School can now pick-up students at the school. Pine Island Road has been… https://t.co/Pkg6ixPiBR

6:27 p.m.: Authorities confirm deaths for the first time (previous statements referred only to "victims"). Their death toll is 17.
Business Insider has been keeping track of the identities of those killed and wounded in the attack. Click here for a full rundown.

"I'm saddened to say that 17 people lost their lives."- Sheriff Scott Israel #stonemanshooting

7:36 p.m.: Media outlets are allowed to get close to the outside of the school. The local channel WSVN broadcasts footage of classroom windows with bullet hotels.
A window riddled with bullet holes could be seen at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in #Parkland https://t.co/aQ0zei1FX9

8:24 p.m.: A local correspondent tweets a clear photograph of the suspect.
#BREAKING: Extremely clear picture of suspect captured by police @wsvn https://t.co/v4AiyIFFs1

Thursday 15th February, 5:39 a.m.: Reporters watch Cruz getting booked in to the Broward County Jail.
BREAKING: deputies bring suspected shooter Nikolas Cruz to Broward County Jail @WPLGLocal10 #StonemanHighSchool https://t.co/718lffPkMo

Around 6:30 a.m.: Sheriffs publish jail booking details for Cruz, including his mugshot. He is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
The entry is hosted on the Broward County Sheriff's website.

It lists Cruz's date of birth, physical characteristics, and lists the 17 separate murders with which he has been charged.

(Photo by Broward's Sheriff's Office via Getty Images)
7:12 a.m.: Trump tweets, saying the shooter was "mentally disturbed."
So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavi… https://t.co/3mSYrtTng6

8:22 a.m.: A teen who survived the shooting pleads for action, saying "we're children. you guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role."
David Hogg survivor of Fl. school shooting: "we're children. you guys are the adults. you need to take some action… https://t.co/6KXQuGpDxd

Throughout the morning, we learn new details about Cruz's personal history. Cruz was adopted. He had been living with the family of a classmates since both of his adoptive parents are deceased, ABC News reported.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

8:33 a.m.: BuzzFeed News' Tom Namako reports that Cruz legally purchased the AR-15 that he used to carry out the shooting.
BREAKING: Law enforcement official: Ex-student suspected in Florida school shooting legally purchased AR-15 rifle about a year ago.

Around 10:30 a.m.: FBI special agent Robert Lasky confirms that a YouTube user named Nikolas Cruz posted, "I'm going to be a professional school shooter" in the comments section of a video in September.

The FBI was unable to confirm whether the account that made the comment belonged to Cruz, the suspected school shooter.

(Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

11 a.m.: Trump addresses the country.

"It is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference," Trump said. "We must actually make that difference."

The speech focused on combatting mental health. Trump also said he plans to visit Parkland to console families and local officials at some point in the near future.

(AFP/Getty Images)

After Trump's speech, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he intends to meet with state leaders next week in Tallahassee to discuss potential legislation dealing with mental health.

"The violence has to stop. We cannot lose another child in this country to violence in a school," Scott said at a news conference on Thursday. "If someone is mentally ill, they should not have access to a gun … None of us want anything like this to happen again."

(Amy Beth Bennett/Sun Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)

12:12 p.m.: Former President Barack Obama tweets in support of "common-sense gun safety laws."
We are grieving with Parkland. But we are not powerless. Caring for our kids is our first job. And until we can hon… https://t.co/LWGSkzRapH

12:51 p.m.: The AP reports that the leader of a white nationalist group — called the Republic of Florida — claimed Cruz was a member of the organization.
Jordan Jereb told The Associated Press that his group, Republic of Florida, wants Florida to become its own white ethno-state. ROF describes itself as a "white civil rights organization fighting for white identitarian politics," according to the Anti-Defamation League.

He added that he didn't know Cruz personally and that Cruz "acted on his own behalf of what he just did and he's solely responsible for what he just did."

PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — Leader of white nationalist group has confirmed suspect in Florida school shooting was member of his organization

Around 2 p.m.: A judge ordered Cruz held without bond on 17 murder charges.

(Susan Stocker/Sun Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)


Oliver’s son, Joaquin, was fatally shot alongside 16 other students during the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The survivors of that tragedy, one of the deadliest school shootings in modern U.S. history, have now emerged as leaders of a freshly invigorated national gun control movement, which has set its sights on the NRA.

Oliver live-painted a protest mural in honor of his son, between speeches by gun control activists and students. At the end, he walked onto the stage with a hammer. 

“Let’s feel how it feels to be in a school hall and listen to something like this,” he said, before loudly smashing holes in 17 stick figures illustrated on the giant canvas. He then stuck a sunflower through each one.  

Just a block away from the protest, thousands of members of the country’s most powerful gun group strolled inside the Kay Hutchison Convention Center, shopping the NRA store, taking seminars and perusing “15 acres of guns and gear” inside the exhibit hall.

The annual convention, now in its 147th year, comes at a particularly tense moment for the NRA. This year’s theme is “a show of strength,” and the NRA appears to be in a defensive posture. In a speech on Friday, the group’s chief lobbyist, Chris Cox, urged members not to be ashamed. 

“What they really want is for you to be afraid to publicly associate with this organization,” he said. “They don’t want you wearing an NRA hat or putting an NRA sticker on your car or truck.” 

He encouraged attendees to stand tall and “stand proud.”

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence spoke to members on Friday inside a packed area. Both leaders advocated arming teachers and increasing security in schools to protect children. 

Austin, Texas, high school student Julia Heilrayne, second from left, attended the protest with a red target printed on her forehead.

Outside City Hall, Rosie Wallace, 29, and Kenna Edwards, 25, said they came to the protest because they want to see fewer school shootings and more common-sense gun reform.

They both admired Oliver’s mural. 

“It’s really moving that someone would be so expressive about losing their child and willing to sacrifice their time to make a change for something they believe in,” said Wallace, an environmental scientist for the Environmental Protection Agency. 

Edwards, who works at a software company, said she was disappointed in Dallas for allowing the NRA convention to be held there.

“It’s on-brand for Dallas, but as a resident, I don’t like it,” she said. 

Julia Heilrayne, an Austin, Texas, high school student, attended the protest with a red target printed on her forehead. She spoke with HuffPost at a smaller protest in front of City Hall the night before. Since the Parkland shooting, she said, students at her school are skittish if they hear a loud noise, like a chip bag popping in the cafeteria.  

“You can drop a textbook in the hallway, and everyone freezes,” she said. 

Heilrayne said she got involved in the gun control movement after a friend of hers ― a third-grader ― was shot and killed in 2017. 

“I had to fight for her,” she said. “I had to be her voice, because she doesn’t have one any more.”

Lawrence Solem took part in a pro-Second Amendment rally on Saturday, May 5.

After the gun control protest wrapped up, a group of counterprotesters gathered nearby openly carrying firearms.

Lawrence Solem, 40, a machinery mechanic from Lewisville, Texas, said he wanted to show his support for the right to carry.

“Evil can and always will exist in the world,” he said. “Evil doesn’t care about time or location. That’s why it’s safest to carry at all times.”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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