Port St John Florida Shooting
Port St John Florida Shooting, A 33-year-old mother apparently went on a shooting spree, taking the lives of her four children and then herself during an early morning confrontation, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office investigators said.
At one point, three of the wounded children ran to a neighbor’s house, but the mother, identified as Tonya Thomas, stepped out and beckoned them to return to the home at 7245 Bright Ave., where they were fatally wounded before deputies arrived.
BCSO, which is leading the investigation, identified the shooting victims as Joel Johnson, 12, Jazlin Johnson, 13, Jaxs Johnson, 15, and Pebbles Johnson, 17. Thomas reportedly sent a text out to a friend about 3 a.m. saying that she wanted to be cremated with her children but the friend did not receive the message until much later, said Lt. Tod Goodyear of the Brevard County sheriff’s office.
“I’m a father. I’ve got kids. I cannot comprehend a parent doing this to their children, particularly after they leave… calling them back into the slaughter,” Goodyear said.
“We are just beginning the crime scene investigation and finishing up some interviews,” he said earlier.
The Port St. John shootings were the single worst instance of multiple homicides to take place in Brevard County since the April 1987 shootings in Palm Bay involving William Cruse. Cruse killed six people, including two Palm Bay police officers, during a shooting spree. It also was the second fatal shooting to take place in Port St. John — an enclave of residential areas off of U.S. 1 in north Brevard — in the past week.
Sheriff’s deputies and the SWAT team responded to the home in this modest, working class neighborhood just after a 5 a.m. call from a neighbor reporting hearing shots fired.
The neighbor heard a knock and went to the door to find three of the children standing outside, asking for help, Goodyear said. At least one appeared to have been shot, and the neighbor handed the victim a towel. It was then that Thomas stepped out and told the children to return home. The children listened to their mother and walked back to the home, Goodyear said. Two made it back inside and then more gunfire ensued, authorities report. (Florida Today)
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