But the 33-year-old emerged from their home and managed to lure the obedient kids back before shooting them dead.
The children — Joel Johnson, 12, Jazlin Johnson, 13, Jaxs Johnson, 15, and 17-year-old Pebbles Johnson — were gunned down yesterday [May 15] in the small town of Port St John, Florida, US, 15 miles from Nasa's Kennedy Space Centre.
Another neighbour said Thomas had sent a text message in the dead of night telling how she would like to be cremated with her children.
Local police office Lt. Tod Goodyear said: “It appeared they had been shot”.
|Victims ... (clockwise from top left) Pebbles Johnson, 17, Jaxs Johnson, 15, Joel Johnson, 12, Jazlin Johnson, 13|