PARKLAND, Fla. – Joaquin Oliver was a toddler when he left his native Venezuela. Amid a political crisis, his parents wanted him to grow up in the safety of South Florida. They never imagined he would one day become the victim of a school massacre in Parkland.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student, known as "Guac" among friends, died in the mass shooting Wednesday. A deranged former student, police identified as Nikolas Cruz, 19, killed him and 16 others.
"Venezuelan forever," the 17-year-old U.S. citizen wrote on an Instagram post last year.
Oliver dreamed with a prosperous and peaceful Venezuela. He was among the young students in South Florida who believed that a free and democratic election could end up with the removal of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. He didn't get to see his country change.
He did get to become a U.S. citizen January 2017. He told his friends he was proud and wore a black bow tie and, long pants and a black vest for the swearing ceremony, which he attended with his family. They later celebrated at home.
Oliver was an avid fan of the Venezuelan national soccer team, Florida State University, football, basketball, urban graffiti art, R&B and hip hop. He was a fan of Frank Ocean and dyed his hair to commemorate his critically-acclaimed "Blonde" album.
Oliver was in love. His last social media post was a love dedication to his girlfriend, Victoria Gonzalez.
"Thank you lord for putting a greater blessing than I could ever imagine into my life this past year," he wrote. "I love you with all my heart."