PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. (WKMG) - Brevard County sheriff's deputies have released the 911 calls on Wednesday from neighbors moments after a mother of four shot and killed her children and then killed herself in her Port St. John home early Tuesday morning.
Full audio is available by clicking here for Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.
Deputies said Tonya Thomas, 33, shot and killed her two daughters, 17-year-old Pebbles Johnson and 13-year-old Jazzlyn Johnson, and her two sons, 15-year-old Jaxs Johnson and 12-year-old Joel Johnson. She then shot herself, deputies said.
The caller first told dispatchers that the son shot his mother, but then was told "the mom shot the kids."
The caller described the boy as "having blood on his right side," and said they've seen problems happening at the home recently.
"We've had the police out here before. The mom just had cops out here at Easter," the caller said. "We've been having problems with these guys ever since they moved in, there's been problems over there."
In the middle of speaking to dispatchers, the caller said "there's more gunshots." The caller told dispatchers she heard around six gunshots.
"Oh my God, she's still over there shooting, whoever is shooting," the caller told dispatchers.
The caller then said she saw the kids outside before the mother called them to get back into the house.
"Oh my God the kids are out there yelling," the caller said. "My husband says he's seen all the kids run back in the house."
The caller then said she heard one more gunshot.
Meanwhile, as the investigation continues, deputies say they are researching previous court records of past incidents of family violence to help figure out what prompted the murder-suicide.
Records show in 2002, Thomas was charged with assaulting the father of her children, Joe L. Johnson, Jr. Court records show that domestic violence was common between the couple, but after one battery, Thomas asked a judge to let Johnson back into the home to "help us become a family again."
Thomas, a former bank teller who has worked in human resources at Renco Electronics since 2009 called deputies for help with a son who was suspected of beating her, records show.
Thomas, who moved from Cocoa to Port St. John in 2008, called deputies to her home Easter Sunday to report Jaxs had thrown a bicycle through a window.
According to the 911 calls, Thomas told dispatchers, "my son just left the house, and he just threw a bicycle through two windows of my house. He threatened me before he left."
In the second 911 call the next day, Thomas told dispatchers, she went to wake up her son for school and he, "started to kick and punch at me. As I was walking out of the room, he started to grab at me, so I grabbed him back. And we fell to the floor and he started just punching me."
Deputies responded but could not find the boy, who walked off threatening to attack his mother, according to police records.
Thomas told deputies that she wanted her son to "calm down before returning home," reports show. She also told police about her efforts to get the teen into social programs to "help with his issues."
"One of the sons had been to Crosswinds. Basic minor things like disrespectful, trouble at school. Not anything bad, not anything illegal, nothing like that," family Pastor Jarvis Wash told Florida Today. He said the family was at church Sunday. Crosswinds Youth Services is a prevention program aimed at youth.
"Jaxs had a few problems with his mother," said cousin Demetrio Hall. "I never thought it would escalate to the point that it did."
Jaxs Johnson was set to appear in juvenile court on Tuesday for a misdemeanor battery charge involving his mother, but it's not known if the hearing played a role in the shootings.
The community has voiced shock and outrage at the incident, saying the family had their issues but didn't expect something like this to happen.
"I don't know. I'm in shock, my head is spinning, I can't sit still, I don't know what to think," said neighbor Karen Amador.
Co-workers said Thomas left early on Monday to take her oldest daughter, Pebbles to a doctor's appointment. The company Renco released a statement saying "We are in shock and disbelief by the tragic news and horrible situation. We had no reason to believe Thomas was capable of this heartbreaking event and loss of life."
Friends of Thomas said she was working on her master's degree from Strayer University after earning her bachelor's from University of Central Florida. Tina Tweedly said she saw Thomas at a school awards ceremony recently where one of Thomas' children was being recognized for being on the honor roll.
"They walked in and looked happy, mom looked great," she said.
Brevard County deputies released a statement saying the firearm used in the shooting was a Taurus .38-caliber revolver. The investigation has found so far that the cause of death for all four victims was the result of multiple gunshot wounds. Thomas died with one single gunshot wound that was self-inflicted, deputies said.
Autopsies won't be released for at least six weeks, deputies said.
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