At least nine Mormon U.S. citizens — including six children, some of which were babies — were killed in a highway ambush in the Mexican border state of Sonora Monday. The gunmen are believed to be members of a cartel from Chihuahua who encroached on another cartel’s territory. The victims were reportedly traveling to a wedding in separate vehicles when they were ambushed and fired upon, with the attackers torching the vehicles with victims still inside.
The family member named the deceased as:
- Dawna Langford, 43
- Rhonita Miller, 30
- Christina Marie Langford Johnson, 29
- Howard Miller, 12
- Trevor Langford, 11
- Krystal Miller, 10
- Rogan Langford, two-and-a-half
- Titus Miller, eight months
- Tiana Miller, eight months
Family members said 12 more people are still missing.
Some of the eight survivors — all children — sustained serious injuries, including a 9-month-old baby who was shot in the chest and a 4-year-old who was shot in the back. A 13-year-old boy reportedly walked 14 miles to La Mora for help after hiding his injured siblings in bushes and covering them with branches.
A video posted by Miller’s father-in-law and posted to Facebook showed the remains of the family’s Chevy Suburban, which had been torched and was still smoldering. Many bullet holes are visible in the side of the vehicle.
The victims belonged to a breakaway Mormon community that settled in the hills and plains of northern Mexico, according to Reuters.
President Trump reacted strongly to the news early Monday, saying, “If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these monsters, the United States stands ready, willing & able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively.”
Trump added in a subsequent tweet, “This is the time for Mexico, with the help of the United States, to wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth. We merely await a call from your great new president!”
🔦 This massacre is just the latest in a recent surge of violence that has erupted in cartel-dominated Mexico — remarkable even for a country that consistently sets new murder records. Less than a month ago the Sinaloa cartel effectively captured the city of Culiacán in a military-style takeover after the son of infamous drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was captured by authorities.