At least six children and three women living in a faith-based community of U.S. citizens in Mexico were shot to death Monday in the northern part of the country, and six more children were wounded after their convoy came under fire during a brazen daylight ambush believed to have been carried out by gunmen affiliated with the cartels.
Alfonso Durazo, Mexico’s top security official, confirmed the six deaths, adding that six more children were wounded in the attack, with five transferred to hospitals in Phoenix, Ariz.
He had indicated that one child was still missing, although relatives later appeared to indicate that the girl, Mckenzie Langford, age 9, who had been grazed in the arm by a bullet and had gone for help only to get lost in the dark, was eventually found.
All the victims are believed to be members of the extended LeBaron family, who live in a religious community in La Mora, northern Mexico, a decades-old settlement in Sonora state founded as part of an offshoot of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around 70 miles south of Douglas, Ariz.
They said the group was attacked while traveling in a convoy of three SUVs. Durazo said the gunmen may have mistaken the SUV convoy for rival gangs. Police first found a burned-out Chevy Tahoe with five people. About 11 miles up the mountainous dirt road, they found a Suburban with a dead woman and two dead children inside. Farther on, they found a second Suburban and, about 15 yards away, the body of a woman.
The victims were all dual Mexican and U.S. citizens and were traveling back to the U.S. when they were ambushed, according to Utah’s KUTV.
Local media, citing statements purportedly made by family member Julian LeBaron, said that Durazo informed him that three people had been detained in the attack against his family. – READ MORE