Father Of Parkland Shooting Victim Turning Pain Into Action
CHARLOTTE, NC. — On February 14, 2018, a gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 17 people were killed. It took 12 agonizing hours for police to tell Manual Oliver his son was one of them.
“All those hours are hours of suffering and hoping. Hoping less damage. In other words, Joaquin won’t answer his phone. I’m hoping he dropped his phone,” says Oliver.
Since then, Oliver says the murder of his 17-year-old son consumes him.
“I do remember feeling lost. Not knowing what was coming next.”
He decided to turn his pain into action.
“There’s a lot of injustice in what happened to our son. That gives us something to be busy with. Which is looking for justice.”
Oliver is an artist, and he is putting on a one-man-show called “Guac: My Son, My Hero”. It tells the story of his son who loved basketball, soccer, art and hip hop. Joaquin’s nickname was guac.
The show involves Oliver painting a portrait of his son while he talks to the audience about gun violence and advocating for reform.
“It might save some kid from a family that I don’t even know yet. They will know the aftermath of what happened to us, could be changed in another way and save another life.”
The show is happening January 14-15th at the Underground.