10 Years Later, Blair Holt’s Father Still Wonders Why Teen Was Killed

CHICAGO (CBS) — It was 10 years ago Wednesday that 16-year-old Blair Holt was shot and killed as he tried to shield a friend from gunfire on a CTA bus, and his father said “not a day goes by that I don’t think about Blair.”

It’s the life Blair never got to live that still gives Ronald Holt pain 10 years later.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Blair, and – had he lived – what he would be doing. I really hang my hat on that,” said Ronald, a Chicago police commander with 27 years on the force. “Not pitying on myself at losing a good son to gun violence, but Blair’s life was taken from him at such a young age.”

Blair, an honor student at Percy Julian High School, was riding a CTA bus on May 10, 2007, when a purported gang member boarded the bus and opened fire, trying to shoot a rival. Blair was shot and killed as he shielded a friend who was sitting near him on the crowded bus.

His father said he wonders if Blair, who would have turned 27 on June 1, would be married by now, or if he’d have children if he hadn’t been killed. Ronald Holt also has questions for the man convicted of killing Blair.

“When Michael Pace shot onto the bus and murdered Blair, that’s a question I always wanted to ask him. ‘Young man, why did you do what you did? You didn’t have to. You had a chance to think about it,’” Ronald Holt said.

Pace, 26, was sentenced to 100 years in prison for Blair’s murder, but an appeals court has ordered a new sentencing hearing, based on what it said were improper comments by the judge at Pace’s sentencing.

Before and after Blair was killed, Ronald Holt has watched many young men turn to violence.

“I would want to ask their parents, mom, dad, grandma, granddad, big brother, big sister, legal guardian: ‘Where did you go wrong with your son, whereas he’s found himself living in a culture of violence?’” he said. “Where did you lose this particular child?”

On Wednesday, a street near Julian High School will be named after Blair.

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