Early Tuesday morning in Port St. John, Florida near Port Canaveral, a mother shot and killed her four children and then used the gun on herself.
Prior to this morning’s murder-suicide incident, the Tanya Thomas family had a history of problems with police being called to the house for three consecutive days last month.
On Easter Sunday the 33-year-old Thomas called the police when one of her sons threw his bike through a window of the home, the next day she again called the police when a son kicked and punched her when she tried to wake him up for school. The day after that the Child Protective Services made a visit to the house after a report of inadequate supervision in the home.
Then just before dawn this morning, three of Thomas’ children ran to a neighbor’s home claiming to be shot, but Thomas called them back to the home. However, shots could be heard when they returned home. It is suspected they ran for help after the fourth child was already killed.
“From what the neighbors said, she was very calm,” Brevard County Sheriff’s Lt. Tod Goodyear said. “She walked out and called them back. They turned around and walked back to the house.”
After the neighbor heard gun shots she called police and reportedly shortly after the SWAT team arrived on-scene Thomas turned the gun on herself committing suicide.
The children were identified as, Pebbles Johnson, 17; Jaxs Johnson, 15; Jazlin Johnson, 13; and Joel Johnson, 12.
One neighbor told authorities that late last night Thomas sent a text message saying that she wanted to be cremated with her children, but he did not receive it till later in the morning.
“We have no idea on motive right now,” Goodyear said.
Some neighbors said that the boys in the home were constantly causing trouble around the neighborhood by shooting out windows with BB guns, throwing fire crackers, and starting fights with other children in the area.