9 U.S. Citizens, Including Twin Babies, Killed in Mexico on Way to Wedding
The victims were in a convoy of SUVs near the town of Bavispe, about 100 miles south of the Arizona border
At least nine American citizens, including six children, were killed Monday in a hail of gunfire as they traveled in Mexico.
The victims reportedly lived in a Mormon community in northern Mexico, about 100 miles south of the Arizona border. They all left the community at the same time, driving in three separate SUVs. Some of the victims were traveling back to the United States, while others were heading to a neighboring town to attend a wedding.
While the convoy of SUVs was driving on a remote road, they were ambushed and sprayed with gunfire. According to CBS News, the gunmen shot so many bullets that one of the SUVs exploded.
A family member, Kendra Lee Miller, tells NBC News that 8-month old twins were killed in the attack. Eight children survived, Miller says. Some of the survivors are seriously wounded, including a 9-month-old who was shot in the chest and a 4-year-old shot in the back.
The victims include Christina Marie Langford Johnson, 29; Dawna Langford, 43; Trevor Langford, 11; and Rogan Langford, 2. Also killed were Rhonita Miller, 30; Howard Miller, 12; Krystal Miller, 10; and the 8-month-old twins, Titus and Tiana Miller.
“Everyone is in so much shock,” Willie Jessop, who is related to one victim, tells NBC News. “It’s just unbelievable, and there’s just no way to comprehend it.”
Relatives of the family tell multiple news outlets that they suspect that the shooting was a case of mistaken identity by drug cartel gunmen, but authorities have not publicly released the motive — or named any suspects in the killings. The FBI has joined Mexican officials in investigating the killings.
Though the families reportedly lived in a Mormon community, the church released a statement saying they were not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. https://twitter.com/laddegan/status/1191805943740153856
Government officials expressed sorrow and outrage about the shootings.
“On behalf of the United States, I wish to express my deepest condolences to the families of the victims of yesterday’s events in the Sierra Sonora / Chihuahua,” tweeted Christopher Landau, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico.
The governor of Sonora, Claudia Pavlovich Arellano, also tweeted about the shooting, “I don’t know what kind of monsters dare to hurt women and children,” she wrote in Spanish. She also vowed to use all of her power as governor “so that it does not go unpunished and those responsible pay.”
There is a GoFundMe to help support families of the victims.