This week, nine members of a prominent Mormon family were killed by heavily armed men while on their way to a wedding in Chihuahua, Mexico. Six of the victims were children. The children that survived hid beneath branches by the road until help arrived. The LeBarón family are dual Mexican and American citizens who have lived in the northern state of Sonora for decades. Three mothers and their children were driving from their fundamentalist Mormon community in the mountains in a convoy of three SUVs when they were attacked, for reasons still unknown. Mexico’s top security official, Alfonso Durazo, suspects the cartel involved may have thought the SUV convoy appeared as a threat from a rival gang.
Mexican police have arrested a suspected drug lord believed to be responsible for the massacre. The case is still under investigation.
Rhonita Maria LeBarón, 30, and her four children were all murdered.
Rhonita was driving to Phoenix that day to pick her husband up from a work trip, but her car blew a tire. Rhonita went back home to get another car and set out again, this time with two families ahead of her, heading to a wedding. Family member Kendra Miller posted to Facebook the horrifying outcome: “Nita and the four of her seven children she had taken on the trip were burned to mostly ashes and only a few charred bones left to identify that all five had been inside. It appeared that one tried to escape as the front passenger door was open and the remains were partially in and out of the vehicle.”
Rhonita LeBarón, her six-month old twins, Titus and Tiana, Krystal, 10, and Howard, 12, were all killed.
Christina Langford, 31, died saving her seven-month-old baby, Faith.
Ten miles ahead of Rhonita’s family, Christina and baby Faith were in one car, with a family of ten in another car. According to family member Kendra Miller, “Christina jumped out waving her arms to let the attackers know that it was women and children in the vehicles. She gave her life to try and save the rest.” Before she died, Langford quickly threw baby Faith to the floor of the SUV, saving her life. Later, Miller says armed family members arrived at the scene to find “Christina’s baby Faith with the vehicle around her riddled with bullet holes. Somehow she had remained untouched, and alive. She was in her car seat, which looked to have been hurriedly placed on the floor of the vehicle by her mother for protection.”
Dawna Ray Langford, 43, and two of her children perished in the other vehicle.
Dawna Langford, 43, and her two children, Trevor Harvey, 11, and Rogan Jay, 3, were killed. Seven of her children survived, but several suffered gunshot wounds.
“After witnessing his mother and brothers being shot dead, Dawna’s son Devin hid his 6 other siblings in the bushes and covered them with branches to keep them safe while he went for help,” Kendra Miller shared in a Facebook post. “When he took too long to return, his 9-year-old sister left the remaining five to try again.”
Six hours after the ambush, young Devin had hiked 14 miles to alert the rest of the family to the dire news. Devin’s uncles called for help, and armed themselves, arriving an hour later to the site of the massacre. They found the children, who were still hiding, and baby Faith alive.
Five of Dawna’s children were injured and are being treated at a U.S. hospital.
Miller shared that they were treated at a local hospital until the Mexican military transported them by helicopter to another hospital. From there, their father, David accompanied them as they were transported to a U.S. hospital. McKenzie, 9, was found by soldiers after she went looking for help, and got lost hiking for 4 hours. Kyle, 14, was shot in the foot. Cody, 8, was shot in the jaw, and leg. Xander, who is just 4 years old, was shot in the back. Brixon, who is just 8 months old, was grazed across the chest and wrist.
Trump wants to wage a “war,” but Mexico’s President doesn’t feel that’s the answer.
“If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these monsters,” Trump tweeted. “The United States stands ready, willing & able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively. The great new President of Mexico has made this a big issue, but the cartels have become so large and powerful that you sometimes need an army to defeat an army!”
In a follow-up tweet, Trump suggested waging “war,” saying, “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!” During a daily press briefing, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador rebuffed Trump’s suggestion, saying, “It’s not in agreement with our convictions. The worst thing is war.”
READ: They Discovered Mass Graves And Now These Grieving Mothers Are Being Threatened By Drug Cartels