Florida authorities confirm four kids ranging in age from 12 to 17 are dead in a murder-suicide in Port St. John. Brevard County Sheriff's Office Lt. Tod Goodyear said it appears 33-year-old Tanya Thomas shot her children before turning the gun on herself.
The shooting happened early Tuesday morning at Thomas’ home. Three of the children went to a neighbor’s house for help around 4:50 a.m. after shots were fired. They went back to their mother after she asked them to return home.
"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. "I cannot comprehend as a parent doing this to their children ... calling them back in and shooting them.”
The neighbor called 911 after hearing more gunshots. When police arrived, 17-year-old Peebles Johnson lay wounded in the front yard. Thomas and her three younger children -- Jaxs Johnson, 15, Jazlin Johnson, 13, and Joel Johnson, 12, -- were dead inside the home. Peebles died of her wounds at a nearby hospital.
Thomas did not leave a suicide note, but did send a male friend a text saying she wanted to be cremated with her children. Goodyear said the text was sent around 3 a.m. "Unfortunately he did not see that text or read it on his phone until he woke up this morning ... well after the incident occurred," Goodyear added.
The father of the children has been informed of the shooting.
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