Florida mother kills four children, self

Tonya Thomas is seen in a 2002 booking mug provided by the Brevard County, Fla., Sheriff's Office. Authorities say Thomas, 33, shot and killed her four children before killing herself on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 in Port St. John, Fla. The children ranged in age from 12 to 17. (AP Photo/Brevard County Sheriff's Office)

Tonya Thomas is seen in a 2002 booking mug provided by the Brevard County, Fla., Sheriff's Office. Authorities say Thomas, 33, shot and killed her four children before killing herself on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 in Port St. John, Fla. The children ranged in age from 12 to 17. (AP Photo/Brevard County Sheriff's Office)

A Florida mother who fatally shot her four children before killing herself Tuesday called three of the kids who had sought help from a neighbor back to the house before firing the fatal shots, authorities said.

Thirty-three-year-old Tonya Thomas fatally shot her four children, who ranged in age from 12 to 17, said Lt. Tod Goodyear, a spokesman for the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.

Three of the children had gone to a neighbor's front door before dawn to say their mother had shot them. The mother then called the children back to the house and killed them, Goodyear said.

"From what the neighbors said, she was very calm. She walked out and called them back. They turned around and walked back to the house," Goodyear said.

The neighbor then heard gunshots and called 911.

Another neighbor told deputies that Thomas sent a text message in the middle of the night saying she wanted to be cremated with her children.

"He didn't see the text until he woke up this morning," Goodyear said.

Deputies identified the children as Pebbles Johnson, 17; Jaxs Johnson, 15; Jazlin Johnson, 13; and Joel Johnson, 12.

The shooting happened in Port St. John, about 15 miles west of Cape Canaveral in an area known as the "Space Coast" because it is the home of NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the location of numerous famed shuttle launches.

A spokesman for the Department of Children and Families wouldn't immediately comment on whether the family had a history with the agency. Goodyear said deputies had responded to the house for domestic complaints previously.

Jamie Hudson, whose mother lives two doors down from the family, said the boys in the family were known to shoot BBs at a home across the street and had threatened to set it on fire.

"It has been an ongoing problem on our street with them," Hudson said.

Goodyear said Jaxs Johnson had recently been arrested on a domestic violence charge. He said he didn't know if the boy had been accused of hitting his mother or causing damage at the house.

A pastor at the church the family attended described it as "normal stuff."

"I think he was punching some walls or something," said Jarvis Wash, pastor of the Real Church in Rockledge, Fla.

Wash said the family attended services last Sunday but had been absent for a few weeks before that.

"I don't know what could have happened in the past couple of days," Wash said. "It's a tragedy to the church and the community."

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Comments » 33

Here4Now writes:

"Three of the children had gone to a neighbor's front door before dawn to say their mother had shot them. The mother then called the children back to the house and killed them, Goodyear said.

I'd give this writing a 2 on the FCAT Test. You FAIL.

Beachglow writes:

Yes, I'd say you could definitely fill a position at NDN if you have a journalism degree or English degree. Sad but that's what we're turning out while we pay these teachers and administrators big bucks. I just read that we're rolling back some kind of test scores. I've heard of the dumbing of American, but this is ridiculous.

grimreaper writes:

Hmmm I wonder what pill mill doc was supplying her meds? It takes a real sicko who's high on Roxys like the rest of the state to do something like this. RIP to her children.

savethewhalz writes:

in response to Beachglow:

Yes, I'd say you could definitely fill a position at NDN if you have a journalism degree or English degree. Sad but that's what we're turning out while we pay these teachers and administrators big bucks. I just read that we're rolling back some kind of test scores. I've heard of the dumbing of American, but this is ridiculous.

This is a report written by someone from the Associated Press, not NDN. Also appears written without any obvious mistakes.

Ruger writes:

Yes, RIP to her children...

http://cfnews13.com/content/news/cfne...

MisterK writes:

Not enough information to make any speculative comments. First and foremost, a moment of silence for the departed............ In time, maybe we'll know more about this fatal event.

Ironage writes:

60% of the comments on this tragic event are more concerned with grammer and syntax than the fact that 4 kids were shot by their mother....

WTF is this place coming too?

RIP you didn't deserve this.

naplesnative73 writes:

in response to Here4Now:

"Three of the children had gone to a neighbor's front door before dawn to say their mother had shot them. The mother then called the children back to the house and killed them, Goodyear said.

I'd give this writing a 2 on the FCAT Test. You FAIL.

You are F......up man
4 kids dead, and you complaining about grammar and syntax?
You are the reason why the animals eat their young in the wild. You are truely f....up dude

snl writes:

"Goodyear said Jaxs Johnson had recently been arrested on a domestic violence charge. He said he didn't know if the boy had been accused of hitting his mother or causing damage at the house.

A pastor at the church the family attended described it as "normal stuff."

"I think he was punching some walls or something," said Jarvis Wash, pastor of the Real Church in Rockledge, Fla.
"It's a tragedy to the church and the community." "

This pastor is a tragedy to the church and community if he says that behavior worthy of a call to police is just "normal stuff'. Here is where we need a new normal. People that behave civilly and respect others, their property and the law

blefebvre writes:

Maybe she felt unappreciated by her family this Mother's Day and snapped.

wonderful (Inactive) writes:

Saadly! Write the white house and let present obama know it is working?

The poor kids! Where was the father, eh?

Hurry November! AAAmerica laments!

Trademark it!

wonderful (Inactive) writes:

in response to wonderful:

Saadly! Write the white house and let present obama know it is working?

The poor kids! Where was the father, eh?

Hurry November! AAAmerica laments!

Trademark it!

Here's the post:

http://www.floridatoday.com/

wonderful (Inactive) writes:

in response to wonderful:

Here's the post:

http://www.floridatoday.com/

And also from the other side:

How 'bout some 'ricin' krispies, eh?:

http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs...

Heaven help US all!

Hurry November!

tampacoco writes:

If your going to kill your dam self then just do it , No need to kill the kids. I just don't understand why these kids went back home to her . The Michigan paper said the same thing .

paul_vincent_zecchino writes:

The pastor deems shooting at homes among other gags to be 'normal stuff'?

My my, haven't we devolved ever so nicely during this quarter century past, thanks to our media/hollywood induced Rap/Gangsta Kulchah?

Normal stuff? What else is normal? Chopping heads, feet and hands from forty nine innocent Mexicans? Didn't los Zetas pull that 'normal stuff' a couple days ago to instill terror?

Twenty five years ago, two laddies, Masters Ducharme and Trepanier, terrorized northern Rhode Island citizens. Dubbed 'The Blackstone Valley Snipers", these boy-o's did 'normal stuff. They drove about, shooting at homes while breaking into others in which they relieved themselves in the sink then set them ablaze.

This 'normal' stuff gained them long sentences which they reportedly are presently completing.

To think, an effete predator with a law degree, Girard R. Visconti, routinely sends whiney victim letters to courts and police departments to discredit those whom he defrauds and whose lives he tries in vain to destroy. He falsely alleges that those whom he defrauds upset him - this stone eyed liar has no feelings, who's he kidding? - because they ask questions he can't truthfully answer lest he incriminate himself.

Asking questions to glean truth is a crime in that 'avaricious illegitimate son's mind', but shooting at homes is 'normal stuff'?

Yeah. Right. Spare us your reverend Wrong liberal double-speak. Please.

There's several novels which drip from this tragedy, none of pretty yet all compelling and prophetic.

But none dare shall publish them for fear of upsetting the PC mafia, will they?

Look for a drop in crime in the neighborhood.

Why do postres point out grammatical errors? Because though the PC scolds tell us we must now all speak in monosyllabic grunts and write words as they sound - ebonics as prime example - the end result of that toxic advice is a chaotic society of incoherent illiterates just bright enough to make their point by bashing their neighbor in the head with a brick.

A plainspoken society is a strong one.

But, a few tortured predicates here, a couple of homes shot, pretty soon you're talking real chaos to paraphrase the late Senator Everett Dirksen.

Which is exactly what communist rats and their useless idiots have for so many decades tried to inflict.

Paul Vincent Zecchino
Manasoviet Key, Florida
15 May, 2012

paul_vincent_zecchino writes:

PS -

'postres' above should read as 'posters'.

Shouldn't Pastor Gass apply for a judgeship on Who Wants to be a Village Idiot or Hollywood Reds Pin the Tail on the Town Drunk, or some similar 'news' show?

One victim was punching walls? This guy is supposed to be a shepherd to his flock? Similar to established surgeons who douse their wife, her bedroom and bed with Isopropyl Alchohol and try to set them ablaze, didn't the pastor see disturbed behavior as a cry for help suggestive of ongoing abuse?

Isn't denial and blame-shifting - psychotic transference - a factor in these cases? It surely was in the case of the 'typical abused woman' surgeon's wife. She laughed off his attempt to burn her alive for rebuffing his endless demands to violate her family. Instead, she sung his praises.

Eventually, after prolonged conduct characteristic of poisoners, he succeeded, then burned the remains in vain effort to destroy evidence.

Why didn't the pastor foresee the obvious?

pvz
mk,fl
16 May, 2012

paul_vincent_zecchino writes:

PPS -

The photo vividly portended the tragedy, didn't it?

Why didn't anyone see it?

No matter. Look for Sarah 'Three Axe Handles Wide' Brady to trundle on down here with foreign born AG traipsing behind, to yet again scold Florida's citizens for 'lax gun laws'.

As if anyone buys that lie anymore.

pvz
mk,fl
16 May, 2012

TiredoftheBS writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

blefebvre writes:

I can't understand why the teens returned to their mom after she had shot them. The boys sounded like they were unruly in the neighborhood. Teens don't have the fear of disobeying a parent as much as a younger child does. I would have thought they would have stayed away after she shot them the first time.....very strange.

mr_1_term_proposition writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Captian_Cataracts writes:

You people have really lost it.

Here4Now writes:

in response to naplesnative73:

You are F......up man
4 kids dead, and you complaining about grammar and syntax?
You are the reason why the animals eat their young in the wild. You are truely f....up dude

Yes, your one and only comment was SO much more on point and kind to all who tragically suffered. Retard.

Notthesame writes:

Just like a dog, they come back for food after theyve been beaten, so these kids did the same thing. Tragic for the kids, but they probably grew up that way getting regular beatings from their crackhead mother.

alexia6ciula writes:

in response to Notthesame:

Just like a dog, they come back for food after theyve been beaten, so these kids did the same thing. Tragic for the kids, but they probably grew up that way getting regular beatings from their crackhead mother.

I agree.
Also the neighbors did not help them so they went back to the only shelter they knew.

anotherPOV writes:

in response to blefebvre:

I can't understand why the teens returned to their mom after she had shot them. The boys sounded like they were unruly in the neighborhood. Teens don't have the fear of disobeying a parent as much as a younger child does. I would have thought they would have stayed away after she shot them the first time.....very strange.

The fact that they returned to their mother seems to present strong evidence that these children have been living in an extremely abusive envioronment for
years. It will be interresting to see what role DCF , or whatever it's called these days, had in these childrens lives.

felipe writes:

the part about these kids being shot before they went to the neighbors house must be wrong , nobody would ever see people already shot and not call police and for medical help ? i hope not anyway !!! may the kids rest in peace !!!

Bramble writes:

Where is the outrage from our African American community over this? The media?

Can one assume that it's not a national tragedy when blacks kill blacks? That would also explain the lack of emotion over the Robert Champion case, too.

Conflict_Resolution writes:

HUGE DRUG BUST THAT FOR SOME REASON NDN DOESN'T THINK IS WORTH WRITING ABOUT. http://www.colliersheriff.org/Index.a...

IrishFan writes:

in response to alexia6ciula:

I agree.
Also the neighbors did not help them so they went back to the only shelter they knew.

Perhaps the reason the neighbors did not call 911 or let the kids in was because they were afraid the whackjob mother would come after them with the gun. There are no (or very few) true heroes any more, at least not here, where they belong. They're over there fighting war where we don't beong.

Becksperado writes:

I think the writer means the kids told the neighbor that their mother "shot at them" rather than "shot them." Maybe she shot at them and missed before they went to the neighbor?

POC writes:

Perpetrator Relationships of Child Fatalities - http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pu...

JunkYardDog_1 (Inactive) writes:

in response to Patriot_1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'll take Ironic comments for $800 Alex.

TiredoftheBS writes:

One way to cut costs of the government.

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