Three women and six children from an American Mormon family were killed during an ambush not far from a rural Mormon community in Mexico, near the New Mexico border. Six others from the same family were also injured during the attack, which many suspect, was carried out by a cartel gunmen.
The massacre occurred on Monday while three women from the Lebaron family were driving with 14 children from the town of Bavispe, Sonora, to a rural Mormon community called La Mora.
Rhonita Miller Labaron had been driving with her four children, two six-month-old twins and two ages 8 and 9, when one of her car tires blew out, Mexico’s SinEmbargo.com.mx reports.
Rhonita’s relatives who were driving in a caravan behind her quickly turned back towards the town they had come from to bring her a spare.
Upon returning to the scene where the flat had occurred, the relatives of Rhonita discovered large clouds of smoke coming up from the side of the road. Rhonita’s SUV had been set ablaze with everyone still inside of it.
Soon after the relatives had discovered the massacre, a group of cartel gunmen unleashed a hail of gunfire onto them, forcing those in the vehicles to flee to the side of the road for cover. The two other women and their children were struck several times.
Several hours later, vehicles containing the bodies of the two women and a boy and a girl, each around ten years old, were found. Six of the children who ran into the woods managed to survive. One child is still missing.
After hearing about the sickening attack, President Donald Trump took to Twitter, writing: “A wonderful family and friends from Utah got caught between two vicious drug cartels, who were shooting at each other, with the result being many great American people killed, including young children, and some missing.”
The horrific attack has prompted some to urge US government officials to classify drug cartels as terrorist organizations.