Reformed killer prays for Riverview stabbing survivor

Sunday, March 25, 2018

It has now been a week since Ronnie Oneal III has been arrested for his role in what is arguably the worst familicide in Florida’s modern history. In fact, this attack, which spanned 20 minutes of bloodshed in a previously quiet Riverview home, is easily a candidate for the top 5 worst familicides in modern US history. Last Sunday night, on Sunday the 18th, Ronnie III was arguing loudly with his girlfriend Kenyatta Barron about religion. Ronnie III was holding a shotgun in Kenyatta’s face, and Kenyatta screamed in fear. Meanwhile, their children, Ronnie IV and his sister Ron’Niveya, were sitting on the bed as Ronnie watched and listened in horror. This was their first clue that something terrible was about to unfold that night. During the last 17 minutes before midnight, the once private, safe, and peaceful Riverview home at 13248 Pike Lake Drive became a war zone, with Ronnie III shooting his girlfriend Kenyatta. Ronnie III told Ronnie IV to run around the living room and shout “Allah Akbar” (which means “God is the greatest”) over and over, as Ronnie III chased Kenyatta into the yard to smash her with the side of the shotgun. Ronnie III was outside for no more than two minutes before coming back inside to continue his rampage. Ronnie III took both children to the garage in hopes of killing both of them. He killed Ron-Niveya, who was only nine years old, by whacking her with an axe. Then, he put Ronnie IV on the ground and stabbed him so badly that his intestines were exposed, and then set the house on fire by pouring gasoline throughout the house and lighting matches. Despite the little boy’s unspeakable pain, Ronnie IV, who was presumably also left for dead, managed to get up and escape onto the street to notify a firefighter: “My father shot my mother!” Ronnie IV was quickly medevacked to the hospital, and he is now in critical condition, with feeding tubes in his throat. On March 22, Ronnie IV told detectives what he remembers from Sunday night. His father, Ronnie III, was arrested and taken into legal custody. The father is a monster who will almost surely never again live among free society. It is also almost certain that the father and son will never see each other in person again.

Meanwhile, Mitchell Scott Johnson, 33, took to social media yesterday to express his condolences and prayers that his heart goes out to the badly wounded boy. “Hi, my name is Mitchell Johnson. I have lost several nights of sleep following this horrific case of murder in Riverview, Florida, and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this senseless act of violence. I have not slept in five days. When I woke up Monday morning and went online to check my email, the news feed on my browser’s home page decided to give me this story, and when I read through it, my heart shattered to pieces. My prayers especially for the young boy who had to endure the unspeakable. Being any age, but especially a child, witnessing two horrible murders of two people he loves, minutes before being stabbed and set on fire by YOUR OWN PARENT, is a trauma no one, not even the worst enemies, should EVER have to endure. My heart goes out to Ronnie IV, and I pray, and I hope, from the bottom of my heart, that he beats medical odds and recovers from his wounds. His father, Ronnie III, is a disgusting human being, and I hope he is locked away in prison to consider his actions. My heart also goes out to the neighbors on Pike Lake Drive who also had to deal with being woken up in the middle of the night by the events of that night. As to the boy, Ronnie IV, I hope he gets the therapy he needs, so that he can learn to trust people again, and that most adults will be just the opposite of his father. He will likely never ‘get over’ the events of last Sunday night, but I believe, and I hope, that therapy can work wonders in lessening the pain in the long run. I hope that boy recovers and gets to live a wonderful life, and I hope he later goes on to do great things.”

Mitchell Johnson still has a lot of haters as of 2018. Twenty years ago, when he was 13, he participated, along with his partner Andrew Golden, in the Westside School massacre that left five people dead and ten people injured. He was sentenced to prison until his 21st birthday, August 11, 2005. From the day and hour that Mitchell was sentenced in August 1998, five months after the shooting, the judge knew that this would be a very unlikeable decision. By that point, he was universally considered a “monster” by the world, especially in Jonesboro where the massacre happened, and nearly everyone agreed that giving a school shooter any finite amount of time in prison, let alone only seven years, was a mistake and way too lenient. Mitchell stayed out of trouble until January 1, 2007, when he was pulled over at a traffic stop for possession of marijuana. Ninety-one days later, on April 2, 2007, he went to a courtroom at noon to answer a deputy’s questions about the Westside shooting. Mitchell prayed multiple times during the interrogation for the families he irreparably harmed, and he expressed remorse from the bottom of his heart. Another part towards the end of the interrogation, Mitchell answers a question asking what “warning signs” one should watch out for in others to prevent future shootings. Mitchell speaks about the depression that he was going through at ages 12 and 13 before the shooting. He listed “deviant behavior, running with the wrong crowd, being a gang member” as warning signs that someone could be potentially dangerous. He also recalled having no one to talk to. Mitchell was incarcerated once again in 2008 due to drug-related offenses throughout 2007 and 2008. He was released in July and has lived in Houston, Texas since. He is now a reformed man and has a good heart now. In the unlikely event that you were to encounter him now, it is very likely that he would be friendly to you. Say hi, and he will return the greeting and say hi back. As part of his path to healing and, as recommended by his lawyers and therapists, Mitchell now also visits schools upon invitation by teachers to take lucky students to sports venues such as bowling and golf. The students who play with him reported having a very fun time. Even ten years ago, in the wake of his 2008 arrest, his neighbors had positive opinions of him. “He didn’t do anything wrong since he’s been out of jail,” said neighbor Gloria Honeycutt of Fayetteville. Gloria was not the only neighbor who saw his reform. Another neighbor, Robert McCoy, argued that Mitchell is a changed man and no longer a boy. “If they knew him like we know him. He’s a great guy. He’s a caring individual,” said neighbor Robert McCoy. Based on recent behavior, we definitely agree with Gloria and Robert that Mitchell Johnson is no longer a monster.

While some commentators called him a “hypocrite” for condemning a murder even though he did one himself 20 years ago, others praised him for his kind words and prayers.


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