A woman from Brevard, Fla. fatally shot her four children before shooting herself as emergency service unit's closed in on her while she was held up in her home on Tuesday.
Tonya Thomas, 33, ended the lives of her children who ranged in age from 12 to 17, said Lt. Todd Goodyear, a spokesman for the Brevard County Sheriff's Office. Three of the children had fled their house and ran to a neighbor's shortly before dawn to say their mother had shot them. However, the mother called them back home and the children listened.
From what the neighbors said, she was very calm, Goodyear said. She walked out and called them back. They turned around and walked back to the house.
The neighbor's heard gunshots and called 911.
Police arrived on the scene with emergency service units. At 4:54 a.m. they found Thomas's 17-year-old daughter, Pebbles Johnson, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. They saw someone appear at the front door, but quickly retreated back in the house, reported the Daily News. Officers then heard gunshots.
Authorities quickly moved in as emergency service breached the back door. They found a gruesome scene. Thomas and three of her children were found dead in the house, all from gunshot wounds presumable delivered by Thomas.
We have no idea on motive right now, Goodyear said. Goodyear said that the gun was found at the scene of the crime.
The victims were identified as Joel Johnson, 12, Jazlin Johnson, 13, Jaxs Johnson, 15, and Pebbles Johnson, 17, reported WFTV.
Police said that a witness informed deputies that he received a text around 3 a.m. from Thomas. The text was ominous that said she wanted to be cremated with her children. However, the neighbor did not see the text until after the incident, reported WFTV.
Goodyear said that this was not the first time police were called to the house. Deupities said a neighbor had previously called 911 due to a domestic abuse.
Travis St. Peter lived on the same block as Thomas and her children. He said they were trouble makers who would shoot BB guns and lighting fireworks.
The guy had to board up his windows because they always, basically destroyed his house, said St. Travis, reported WFTV. The kids are always trying to get in fights. You always hear the mom's yelling at midnight and stuff.
Deputies said that the father of the children, who does not live with the family, was notified of the incident. Reports indicate that he had a difficult time composing himself as investigators interviewed him.
It's always a sad thing when kids are involved, said St. Peter.