Florida Mom Who Fired 18 Shots at Her Children May Have Killed Out of Love

Tonya ThomasNew details are emerging in the case of Tonya Thomas, the Florida mother who inexplicably killed her four teenage children last week. The kids, ranging in age from 12 to 17, were shot at point blank range with most of their wounds on the fronts of their bodies, meaning they were facing their mama, maybe even looking at her, when she opened fire on them two, three, four, up to seven times each.

Experts say the gun Thomas used, a Taurus .38 caliber, can only hold a round of six shots, which means she would’ve had to stop and reload three times during the assault on her children. I can’t even begin to imagine the agony of watching your mother not only kill your siblings one by one, but the terror of waiting as she reloaded, knowing your turn to die was inevitably coming up. My heart actually aches thinking about it.

The Brevard County district medical examiner released findings yesterday that conclude Thomas was no more than two feet away when she unloaded some 18 hollow point bullets into Pebbles Johnson, 17; Jaxs Johnson, 15; Jazzlyn Johnson, 13; and Joel Johnson, 12.

Jazzlyn was hit the most, with seven shots throughout the midsection of her body. Joel was shot five times. Jaxs took three bullets in his chest. Pebbles was also riddled with three shots. Adding to the obvious heart wrenching question of why Thomas did it is the curious fact that neither she nor any of the children had any defensive wounds and the home showed no sign of a struggle, even though many of the shots were taken at contact range, meaning she put the muzzle of the gun right up against their bodies and pulled the trigger. They didn’t push her. They didn’t fight her. It just happened, almost like they were expecting it.

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Toxicology reports are being conducted and autopsies are being performed, which can take time. In the meanwhile, I’m praying for the neighbor three of the children ran to for help before their mother called them back home, who refused to let the Johnsons in their house during the confusion. I’m praying for the kids and the lives that were cut short by the hands of their own mama and I’m praying for Thomas herself, who for reasons known only to her—maybe not even to her children—murdered the babies she birthed and then took her own life.

Maybe, in her unstable mind, it was the only way to protect them from the struggles, disappointments, and anguishes of life. Maybe she was temporarily out of her mind or maybe she had exercised a lifetime of manipulative control over her children. Maybe she was frustrated, crazed, hopeless. Maybe she loved them so much that she didn’t want them to suffer the same pitfalls she had experienced.

That’s all we have for now. The maybes. Nothing is certain, nothing is for sure except that an entire family is gone just like that and four promising, beautiful children—because every child, no matter how much trouble they’ve caused in their rebellious teenage years, is still promising and beautiful—won’t go to the prom or graduate high school or wait in anticipation for a college acceptance letter or eat junk food on the sofa or giggle with their friends about their favorite reality show or send a text message or roll their eyes at their mother or learn the newest dance. That’s a lot of life lost, a lot of mourning to work through.

Do you know your neighbors?  

Image via mrphishphotography

crime, child abuse, death


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jayle... jaylensmommy145

the author was only wondering just like us in most cases like these its most likely this mother probably manipulated them into thinking the world was ending or something and they needed to end there life...smh psycho! rip to these children!

Melan... Melanie420

no one kills her baby out of love, what the hell is wrong with you, she was clearly a psychopath the deserves to be dead and I hope shes rotting in hell, and maybe there was no sign of struggle or defense because she prolly tried them or restrained them somehow like the piece of shit she is

marie... mariesmama

if god only loves the 12 tribes of israel like a previous poster said where does that leave the tribe of dan, the ones that settled germany,scotland and ireland thats me where do i fit in?

Stacey. Stacey.

You really should change the title. It made feel feel ill, and I am not a sensitive person at all. I also think the children were abused their whole lives, seeing how after shooting them, and them running away, she called for them and they went back to her.

Karen Dowling-Barth

This broke my heart and made me cry....those poor children.  I don't know what was going on to make her do such a drastic action!!  Why do some of these mothers take the kids?  Why couldn't she just end her own life and not her childrens also?

missy... missybest

To the author:  Do not mention the word love or any form of compassion for what this mom did to her kids.  This is NOT love.  Don't try to confuse people who don't know any better.  This was a sick, deranged woman who would do this to those kids.  The kids were "out of control" in the neighborhood.  This was not a mother.  This was a mean, manipulative, selfish, lazy, narcissistic person who did this.  There are no excuses for the mother.  R.I.P. kids - what a horrible short life you all must have lived.

Ame Pogue Inman

You have to wonder why, if one of the children watched her reload that gun, they didn't try to stop her.  I love my mother beyond all reason, but I would have taken her down.

thatg... thatgirl70

Killed out of love? What kind of crap are you smoking?

Garret Marucha

Does it not make sense that she shot them first,then reloaded!?!?!


Kimberly Lynn Magee

How dare you use the word love to describe a motivation for what she did. A mother's job before anything is to protect her children from everything. 
This I will always feel is the worst crime, the worst betrayal, for a mother to take the life of her children.  To even entertain that she did it out of love is to dismiss what the basic requirements of motherhood are.


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