Report: Mother shot kids at very close range - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Report: Mother shot kids at very close range

Posted: Updated:
Tonya Thomas shot her four children to death before killing herself, police in Florida say. Tonya Thomas shot her four children to death before killing herself, police in Florida say.

(CNN) - The Florida woman who killed her four children before committing suicide last week used hollow-point bullets fired at very close range, no more than 2 feet away, according to a report from Florida Today.

The newspaper cites a report from Brevard County District Medical Examiner Sajid Qaiser on the deaths of Tonya Thomas, 33, and her children, Pebbles Johnson, 17, Jaxs Johnson, 15, Jazzlyn Johnson, 13, and Joel Johnson, 12. Attempts by CNN to gain access to the report have not been successful.

According to the Florida Today story, there were 19 gunshot wounds to Tonya Thomas and her children. All the shots came from a Taurus .38-caliber revolver, the paper reported.

Jazzlyn was shot the most, seven times, according to the report, with two of those shots coming when the gun was touching her chest.

Joel was shot five times, the paper reported.

Jaxs took three bullets in his chest, the report said.

"The shots were taken at contact range, where the muzzle of the gun was touching the body surface," Florida Today quotes Qaiser as saying.

Pebbles was also shot three times, according to the report.

Gun store owner Herb Stratton told Florida Today the Taurus .38-caliber can hold six shots, meaning Thomas would have reloaded three times during the shootings.

Police said last week that three of the children had gone to a neighbor's house in Port St. John to say their mother had shot them. Tonya Thomas then called them back home before killing them.

Police said last week they didn't know of a motive in the shooting. Friends and court documents, however, revealed that Jaxs and his mother were having difficulties.

James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University, told CNN last week the circumstances appear to be a case of "suicide by proxy," in which a family member takes the lives of her loved ones "out of a warped sense of love" before killing herself.

"Typically, the perpetrator is suicidal, feels life is miserable and doesn't want to go on," Fox said. "But why does she take her children? Because she wished to be reunited with them in the afterlife or wants to spare them the misery of this life."

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • UPDATE: Tyler Police Request Assistance Locating A Mentally Challenged Missing Juvenile

    UPDATE: Tyler Police Request Assistance Locating A Mentally Challenged Missing Juvenile

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:44:06 GMT
    UPDATE: The Tyler Police Department has received several tips from citizens, indicating Carlaina Nicole Hopkins may also be head towards the downtown area. Again, if anyone knows of her location or sees her, they are asked to call 911 or the Tyler Police Department at 903-531-1000.More >>
    UPDATE: The Tyler Police Department has received several tips from citizens, indicating Carlaina Nicole Hopkins may also be head towards the downtown area. Again, if anyone knows of her location or sees her, they are asked to call 911 or the Tyler Police Department at 903-531-1000.More >>
  • Tyler Police searching for early morning robber

    Tyler Police searching for early morning robber

    Tyler Police searching for early morning robber

    Monday, April 21 2014 5:53 PM EDT2014-04-21 21:53:35 GMT
    Tyler Police need your help finding an early morning robbery suspect. A woman says a robber tackled her to the ground and stole her purse. More >>
    Tyler Police need your help finding an early morning robbery suspect. A woman says a robber tackled her to the ground and stole her purse. More >>
  • Cherokee County woman found dead in driveway, husband charged with murder

    Cherokee County woman found dead in driveway, husband charged with murder

    Monday, April 21 2014 5:31 PM EDT2014-04-21 21:31:33 GMT
    Cedric Dewayne ThompsonCedric Dewayne Thompson
    CHEROKEE CO. (KYTX) - On Sunday April 20, 2014 at approximately 9:35am Kayla Nicole Thompson (27 years of age) was found deceased in the driveway of her residence, located in the 1500 block of County Road 3201 just West of Lake Jacksonville.More >>
    CHEROKEE CO. (KYTX) - On Sunday April 20, 2014 at approximately 9:35am Kayla Nicole Thompson (27 years of age) was found deceased in the driveway of her residence, located in the 1500 block of County Road 3201 just West of Lake Jacksonville.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2004 - 2014, WorldNow and KYTX, Owned and Operated by London Broadcasting Company.
All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.