Optimum Customers: Your Newsday access has been extended until Oct 1st. Enroll now to continue your access.

LEARN MORE
TODAY'S PAPER
71° Good Afternoon
71° Good Afternoon
NewsNation

Parkland victim's father, Fred Guttenberg, seeks handshake with Kavanaugh

Guttenberg, whose brother lives in Commack, approached the judge at a lunch break during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing. The judge turned and walked away as a security guard stepped in.  

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jamie was killed in

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jamie was killed in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, attempts to shake hands with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as he leaves for a lunch break Tuesday.   Photo Credit: AP/Andrew Harnik

WASHINGTON — The father of a teenager who was among 17 people killed when a gunman attacked Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, approached Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at a confirmation hearing Tuesday, but failed in his attempt to shake the judge's hand.

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jamie died in the Feb. 14 attack, approached Kavanaugh after he rose from the witness table for a lunch break. He put out his hand to Kavanaugh, who paused for a moment before turning away as a security guard stepped in. It was unclear if Kavanaugh heard what Guttenberg was saying.

Afterward, Guttenberg tweeted that Kavanaugh "pulled his hand back, turned his back to me and walked away. I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence."

White House spokesman Raj Shah took a different view, saying security intervened before Kavanaugh could shake the hand of the "unidentified individual." He shared a video clip of the moment, saying it showed that "as the Judge was leaving and had already turned away and begun walking, security intervened and ushered the Judge away."

Fred Guttenberg pushed back on Twitter, saying: "Incorrect. I was here all day and introduced by Senator Feinstein. No security involved. He turned and walked away."

That's the same impression that Guttenberg's brother, Paul, of Commack, got from the incident. Paul Guttenberg, who had text messaged with his brother about the incident, said it is further evidence that the judge, who was tapped to join the high court by President Donald Trump, refuses to discuss gun violence.

"It just showed again and again and again, whether it’s President Trump or people he’s appointing to the Supreme Court, they don’t want talk about gun safety," Paul Guttenberg said Wednesday evening. "They have no interest in supporting any change and, even if they say they do, that’s not what shows. . . . What we observed today with that handshake was shameful. I have other words, but it was shameful.

Paul Guttenberg said that after his brother was introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), he remained standing throughout the hearing specifically to be visible . Paul Guttenberg reasoned that Kavanaugh must have known know who Guttenberg was.

After the encounter, Capitol Police spoke with Guttenberg. He again sat  in the hearing room for the afternoon session.

The Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 students and teachers dead.

"One of the reasons  he went up to the judge was because he had his family there," Paul Guttenberg said. "He wanted to go shake his hand as a father to a father."

With AP

News Photos and Videos

Important message for Optimum customers

Your Newsday digital access is changing as of 10/1

You recently received an email from Optimum’s parent company, Altice USA, informing you that Altice will no longer offer free Newsday digital access with Optimum's online service. Through an exclusive trial offer for Optimum customers, Newsday is pleased to extend your digital access at no cost until the end of the year.

I understand, no thanks