Florida mom kills four children, self



    A Florida mom fired 19 shots, killing her four children and herself at their Port St. John’s home last week.

    Tonya Thomas, 33, was a single mother with custody of her four children, Pebbles Johnson, 17, Jazlin Johnson, 13, Jax Johnson, 15, and Joel Johnson, 12.
    At around 5 a.m., shots were fired, and three of the children fled to the neighbor’s house begging for help. A 9-1-1 call was made by an unidentified neighbor who said that the children came running to her home for help.

    The 9-1-1- call recorded the woman yelling, “Get back. You’re not coming in our house" at the children.

    The neighbor initially thought that the children had shot their mother, but soon realized the mother was the one with the gun. The children then ran back to the house after being called to come back home by their mother.

    Brevard County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tom Goodyear said, “She was very calm.”

    Soon after the children returned home, more gunshots were fired.

    When SWAT teams arrived to the scene, they heard the final shot. After entering the home through the back door, Tonya and her four children were all found shot to death.

    According to a coroner’s report, Tonya used a .38 caliber revolver to fire 18 hollow point bullets into her children. The last bullet was for her.

    Jax, 15 was shot three times in the chest, Jazlin, 13, was shot seven times, her brother Joel, 12, was shot five times, with one gunshot to the heart, and Tonya’s oldest daughter Pebbles, 17, was shot three times and was found dead on the front lawn of the home, the New York Daily News reported.

    Dr. Sajid Qaiser, Brevard County medical examiner, said that the children were shot from ranges of close contact to a distance of two feet.

    Before the murder took place, Tonya sent a text message to an unidentified friend saying that she wanted to be cremated with her children. The friend did not read the text until later, and proceeded to call the police.

    The funeral for the children was held on Monday at Temple Baptist Church in Titusville. Authorities have no motive for the killings at this time, according to the spokesman.

    According to the New York Daily News, results from the autopsies will not be released for another six weeks.

    —Kimberley Glascoe



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