Florida detective Mike Blair, of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, responded to a horrific crime scene in March 2018 – a man had killed his girlfriend and special needs daughter and critically injured his son.
Ronnie Oneal was later convicted on two counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder in connection with the brutal attack, some of which unfolded after his girlfriend, Kenyatta Barron, called 911 and pleaded for help, FOX 13 reported at the time.
Before Blair arrived on scene, Barron and her daughter, Ron’niveya, were dead. The surviving son, also named Ronnie, was flown to Tampa General Hospital in critical condition with stab wounds and severe burns.
“We were told there was a child being medevacked to Tampa General, but he was not expected to live,” Blair said in a video shared by the sheriff’s office.
But he pulled through, and Blair met him at the hospital a few weeks later, according to the sheriff’s office.
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“He kind of held onto my hand as I left, and he said, ‘Could you watch a movie with me?’” Blair recounted. “I said no, I can’t. I gotta get back to work…How about I come back and watch a movie with you tonight?”
Blair had already planned a date night with his wife for that evening, so he asked her if she would mind if they spent it watching a movie with the recovering child instead.
“I had already known that I would want to take Ronnie home with us, starting that night,” Blair’s wife, Danyel, said in the sheriff’s video.
Five months later, when it became time to seek an adoptive home for Ronnie, the Blairs volunteered.
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Blair, who already had six children, recounted the story publicly for the first time in the sheriff’s video, posted Tuesday.
“He knows he has a story that has been written for him,” Blair said of Ronnie, who is now 12. “He also knows he doesn’t want to be defined by that story.”