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Mother Does The Unthinkable: Kills 4 Kids, Then Herself

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Every now and then I’ll Google “mother” to see what’s going on in Mommyland and come across a horrifying new story that leaves me speechless. Such was the case this afternoon when I read about Tanya Thomas, a 33-year-old mother of four who shot and killed her four children, then herself, in their Florida home. It’s a major tragedy, one I still can’t wrap my head around, and stories like these always make me think of how desperate a person must feel to do something so unfathomable.

The details are haunting. According to reports, a neighbor heard gunshots at 4:50 a.m. and then responded to a knock at the door to find three of Thomas’ four children standing there. Thomas calmly called them back home and the children complied. When police arrived, they heard more shots fired, and then discovered Thomas’ eldest daughter, 17-year-old Pebbles Johnson, wounded in the front yard (she later died in hospital). The other children – Joel Johnson, 12, Jazlin Johnson, 13, and Jaxs Johnson, 15 – were all dead, as was their mother.

Another neighbor told police he received a text message from Thomas at about 3 a.m. that said she wanted to be cremated with the children. (Sadly, he didn’t see the text until he woke up in the morning.)

Tod Goodyear, a spokesman for the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, said the children’s father does not live with the family and that he was “distraught.” He also said police do not have a motive.

Meanwhile, in April, authorities from the Department of Children and Families showed up at Thomas’ house three days in a row. In the first visit, Thomas said her son had thrown a bicycle through the window. The next day, she said her son had kicked and punched her when she tried to wake him up for school. On the third day, investigators visited the house after allegations that the children weren’t properly supervised.

The end result is that a mother and her four children are dead. It’s just chilling and, needless to say, an absolute tragedy.

(Photo: carl ballou/Shutterstock)