In what he later said was an outburst of emotion over the mass-shooting death of his teenage daughter, Fred Guttenberg shouted out during President Donald Trump‘s State of the Union on Tuesday night and was removed from the House chamber.
Guttenberg, the 54-year-old father of 14-year-old Jaime Guttenberg, who was killed in the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, spoke up as Trump finished the line, “So long as I am president, I will always protect your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”
Guttenberg could be heard yelling on the broadcast as Republican applause simmered, though it wasn’t clear what he had said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence, who were behind President Trump, both looked up in the direction of Guttenberg’s seat.
Huffington Post political reporter Matt Fuller reported that Guttenberg said, “Victims of gun violence like my daughter” after Trump mentioned the Second Amendment.
Guttenberg was escorted out by Capitol Police and later detained for about two hours, according to The Washington Post.
“My emotions were stewing,” he told the Post of his outburst. “I was so upset.”
Guttenberg told the paper that he was handcuffed but then later released after Pelosi’s office intervened.
“Tonight was a rough night,” he said on Twitter shortly after midnight. “I disrupted the State Of The Union and was detained because I let my emotions get the best of me. I simply want to be able to deal with the reality of gun violence and not have to listen to the lies about the [Second Amendment] as happened tonight.”
Guttenberg apologized and said he “should not have yelled out,” though his protest earned support from Democrats and anti-gun violence advocates on social media.
(2,2) That said, I should not have yelled out. I am thankful for the overwhelming support that I am receiving. However, I do owe my family and friends an apology. I have tried to conduct myself with dignity throughout this process and I will do better as I pursue gun safety.— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) February 5, 2020
The hashtag #ImWithFred began trending on Twitter following Trump’s speech.
“I am thankful for the overwhelming support that I am receiving,” Guttenberg concluded. “However, I do owe my family and friends an apology. I have tried to conduct myself with dignity throughout this process and I will do better as I pursue gun safety.”
Guttenberg became one of the leading voices for gun reform following the Parkland shooting that killed 17, including his daughter, in February 2018. He also started the Orange Ribbons for Jaime charity organization following her death and was wearing an orange tie and ribbon at Tuesday night’s State of the Union.
Guttenberg told the Post: “I’m glad today people are talking about gun violence.”