New reports reveal that Tonya Thomas, a Florida mother, shot her four children 18 times before killing herself. She was also a victim of domestic abuse. Authorities said she fired the fatal rounds, smoked a cigarette and later killed herself.
But hundreds of documents released by state officials Friday detailed the family’s history and revealed that Thomas was a woman trapped in a cycle of domestic violence and was also abused or neglected as a child.
In 2000, children watched as their father Joe Johnson yelled at Thomas for not making dinner, then punched and kicked her, knocking her into a wall. The children were removed from their parent’s home for a month but were returned despite DCF’s objections.
The documents also said Thomas was not verbally or mentally abusive to the children. Investigators spoke with neighbors and school officials and watched the children at home and said they “appear bonded to their parents.” A supervisor signed off on the case on May 13.
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