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May 15, 2012 6:36 PM

Florida mother turns gun on herself after killing four children

(NBC) - Florida police say a Port St. John mother shot and killed her four children early Tuesday morning before turning the gun on herself.

Tanya Thomas, 33, shot her children Joel Johnson, 12, Jazlin Johnson, 13, Jaxs Johnson, 15, and Pebbles Johnson, 17, in their home before taking her own life.

A next-door neighbor was awakened by the sound of gunfire, then a knock at the door.

Three of the children were there, asking for help.

Joel Johnson was bleeding, and said he'd been shot.

Deputies said they believe that Pebbles Johnson had already been shot as well, but the neighbor only noticed that Joel was bleeding.

Officials said that is when the mother came outside and called the children back into the house.

The neighbor said the children went back to the home before officials arrived.

Lt. Tod Goodyear of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office said they received a call at around 5 a.m. from the neighbor reporting the incident.

When officials arrived, they found Pebbles Johnson in the front yard.

She was pronounced dead on the scene.

"The cops have been called to that house many times because the kids were terrorizing the neighbors," said neighbor Travis St. Peter.

St. Peter said the kids shot out windows with BB guns and he heard Thomas yell at the kids to quit shooting off fireworks.

The family pastor, Jarvis Walsh, said he saw all five family members on Sunday and admits the family had issues. Walsh said the issues were not different than any other issues many families with teenagers face.

"Disrespectful and getting in trouble at school," said Walsh. "Things like that, but not anything bad. I don't know anything a kid could do to make their parents want to murder them."

Officials said they are still investigating the crime scene, but do not have a motive at this time.

The children's father does not live in the house, but does live in the area.

According to Goodyear, grief counselors have been called the the local schools the children attended.

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