Five family members, including children, die in Mexico gun attack

Wednesday, 06 Nov, 2019

In 2010, two members of the Chihuahua Mormon community, including one from the LeBaron family, were killed in apparent revenge after security forces tracked drug gang members.

Some of the nine members of an American family who were killed while traveling in northern Mexico have ties to North Dakota.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah - a member of the LDS Church - has extended family that still lives in Mexico, where his father was born. The U.S. citizens have lived in a Mormon community in Mexico for decades. "From what I can tell, these were members of a polygamist sect, and not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints".

The victims were all members of the LeBaron family, American citizens who have lived in a Mormon community near the United States-Mexico border for decades.

A relative of the dead who did not want his name used for fear of retaliation said in an interview that when they finally made it to the scene where the ambush started - about 11 miles (18 kilometers) from where the two other mothers were killed - they found a burned-out Chevy Tahoe. "My heart is completely broken", he wrote. "They just opened fire on the vehicle because it was an SUV". "They left 6 of Dawna's kids on the side of the road and took off".

After witnessing his mother and brothers being killed, 13-year-old Devin Langford hid his remaining siblings in the bushes and covered them with tree branches. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador told reporters that the attack happened at 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

In recent weeks, amid criticism from other USA officials that Mexico does not have a cogent security strategy to fight rising violence, Lopez Obrador said the US must respect Mexico's sovereignty and that "officials from other countries should not offer opinions about internal issues that only concern our government".

Chihuahua and Sonora state governments issued a joint statement saying an investigation had been launched and that some people were presumed dead and others missing.

In a tweet, President Donald Trump immediately offered to help Mexico "wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth". "We merely await a call".

A relative of some of the vicitms said as many as 15 others were missing in the attack that may have been a case of mistaken identity. If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these. The U.S. State Department also said it was aware of the reports but had no further comment.

"The security of our nationals is our top priority", Landau said via Twitter.

Authorities have not publicly identified all of the victims or the circumstances of their deaths.

CBS News said: The victims all left their community at the same time in three separate cars; some were traveling back to the USA, some to a neighboring town for a wedding.

Back in La Mora, Rhonita took her mother's auto with her children and continued back on the journey with the other two vehicles, driven by Christina and Dawna.

"Nita and four of my grandchildren are burnt and shot up", he added.

LeBaron-Ramos said she planned to make a brief statement and answer questions at 3 p.m.at her law office at 1505 Minnesota Avenue. Some of the survivors - all children - suffered serious injuries.