Cops: Florida Mom Kills Her 4 Kids, Herself

Friend got a warning text from Tonya Thomas, didn't see it
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2012 1:31 PM CDT
Emergency personell surround the scene of a multiple shooting in Port St. John, Brevard County, Fla., Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Florida Today,Tim Shortt)

(Newser) – A 33-year-old mother shot and killed her four kids, ages 12 to 17, before killing herself as police closed in on her home today, reports MSNBC. Police say they don't have a motive, but they say Tonya Thomas sent a text to a friend about 3am declaring that she wanted to be cremated with her children. The friend didn't see it in time, notes CNN. The shooting apparently started about 5am. The gunfire woke up a neighbor, who opened his door to find three of Thomas' children there, apparently fleeing. Thomas called them home, they obeyed, and she shot them.

"She was very calm," said a police spokesman. "She called them back and they walked back to the house." The neighbor called 911, and police arrived to find Pebbles Johnson, 17, fatally wounded on her front lawn, reports AP. When the SWAT team arrived, police heard more shots inside and found Thomas, along with Joel, 12; Jazlin, 13; and Jaxs, 15. The latter child was due to appear in juvenile court today over some kind of domestic violence charge, but it wasn't clear whether that played any role in the shootings, notes WKMG of Orlando. The shootings took place in Port St. John, Brevard County.

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