A Florida man allegedly shouted “Allah Akbar” repeatedly as police arrested him for shooting his wife, stabbing his two children, and setting his house ablaze.
Police arrested Ronnie Oneal, who identifies as a member of The Nation of Islam, at the house of his partner Kenyatta Barron, in Riverview, Fla., in response to a 911 call from Barron claiming that she had been shot, according to Tampa Bay Times (Man With A Knife (Shutterstock/ BortN66).
Officers found Barron dying of a gunshot wound in the front yard of a neighboring house. Firefighters were responding to a fire set in Barron’s house and found Barron and Oneal’s 9-year-old son, Ronnie Oneal IV, alive but suffering from burns and stab wounds and the couple’s 11-year-old daughter dead from stab wounds.
“I was shocked,” said Walter Ballard, a friend of Oneal who had seen him three days prior, according to Tampa Bay Times. “That’s the only thing that went through my mind: How could he do something like this?”
The dispatcher who answered Barron’s call allegedly said she could hear a male yelling “Allah Akbar” in the background, according to Fox13. Minutes after Barron’s call, Oneal called police, saying, “I’ve just been attacked by some white demons. Her name is Ke-Ke and she tried to kill me and I just killed her.”
Police tried to help Barron where she lay, but soon forced their way into Barron’s home when they noticed the fire. Oneal walked out toward officers through the garage. Officers tasered Oneal and incapacitated him after he refused to comply with their orders to get on the ground.
Officers said that Oneal continually shouted “Allah Akbar” from the back of the police cruiser in which they placed him.
Oneal’s son later walked out of the house as firefighters entered it and reportedly said “My father shot my mother.” Firefighters found the daughter dead inside the house. The sheriff’s office said Oneal’s son suffered from severe burns, stab wounds to the torso and neck, and smelled of gasoline or some other accelerant, according to Tampa Bay Times. The son is now in stable condition after undergoing surgery as of Monday afternoon.
Police charged Oneal with two accounts of first degree murder, arson, attempted murder, and resisting arrest and booked him in Hillsborough County jail as of Monday morning.
Both Barron and her daughter were pronounced dead at the scene of the crime and the medical examiner’s office determined their deaths to be homicides.
Neighbors and friends of Oneal said that they never saw any indication of violence or a decreasing mental state from him.
“Right now, it’s just a blow to the whole family. It really is. We don’t understand it,” Angela Gaudette, O’Neal’s cousin, told Fox13.
Ballard also said that the incident came as a shock, according to Tampa Bay Times.
“He always told me had demons, but I never thought it was like that. I don’t know what would make him do anything to his kids,” Ballard told Tampa Bay Times.