Kendra Miller, whose sister-in-law was one of nine LeBaron family members who were shot in Sonora state on Monday, claims that her family was specifically focused on waging war between rival cartels
A relative of the Mormon family, who was butchered a few days before her wedding in Mexico, argued for carrying weapons because she said defenseless Mexicans cannot fight back against cartel artists.
Kendra Miller, whose sister-in-law was one of the nine LeBaron family members who had been shot in the state of Sonora on Monday, claims that her family was specifically focused on waging war between rival cartels.
Three mothers and six children, from six months to 12 years old, were killed in the cartel ambush after leaving their religious community La Mora, a decades-old settlement in the state of Sonora, founded as part of an offshoot of the Mormon church.
In her home in La Mora, where she is getting married next week, Miller said CNN that her family is constantly threatened by the cartels.
Miller raised the issue of arms control and urged Americans to fight against weapons bans.
& # 39; I don't know where you stand at all (idea of) to take the weapons in America right now, but I say to fight for those weapons, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; These things happen here in Mexico because people cannot protect themselves because they are not allowed by law to possess these weapons.
& # 39; So because the government is not doing their work of protection as they should, these cartels can only do damage and leave people defenseless.
& # 39; So I say, hold your weapons, people. & # 39;
Three mothers and six children, aged between six months and 12 years, were killed in the cartel ambush after leaving their religious community La Mora, a decades-old settlement in the state of Sonora, founded as part of an offshoot of the Mormon church
Three mothers and six children, aged between six months and 12 years, were killed in the ambush of the cartel after leaving their religious community in La Mora. Family members mourn the murders on Tuesday
She said that the issue of security does not only affect her family and is part of a national problem.
& # 39; What is happening here is that the Mexican people are being suppressed. They are abused by these cartels and live in fear of their lives, & Miller said.
& # 39; We cannot safely drive the public highway. We are threatened that we cannot even take part of the public road, otherwise bad things will happen to us.
& # 39; So many people are not protected as they should be. & # 39;
Miller said that her family was desperate about the loss of lives and that they are now planning several funerals to be held on Thursday and Friday.
She added that Mexican authorities had provided guarded protection for family members who were planning to attend the funerals.
Rhonita Miller and four of her children – her six-month-old twins, Titus and Tiana, her 10-year-old daughter Krystal and the 12-year-old son Howard – were all killed. Two more mothers, Dawna Langford and Christina Langford Johnson, as well as the sons of Dawna, Trevor (11) and Rogan (3), were all also killed.
Eight children, some only babies, survived the ambush.
Miller said her sister-in-law Rhonita drove to Phoenix to pick up her husband and would return in time for her wedding after a few days.
Dawna and Christina drove to the neighboring state of Chihuahua to see relatives.
Ruined relatives of the killed victims visited the scene of the horrific murders late Tuesday and were sobbing as they watched the burnt-out and bullet-hit SUVs
Soldiers assigned to the National Guard of Mexico stand by a bullet-riddled vehicle of one of the mothers shot in the cartel ambush that killed nine
The police found a baby car seat splashed with blood in a bullet-damaged SUV that was driven by one of the mothers
Distraught members of the LeBaron family mourn while watching the burned car where nine members of their family were killed and burned
& # 39; They were all model people – good mothers who are committed to raising godchildren, & # 39; said Miller about the murdered mothers.
& # 39; All of these women were incredible people. & # 39;
In the aftermath of the tragedy, heroic details emerged about the attack, including how Christina got her daughter out of the way.
Dawna & # 39; s fast-thinking 13-year-old son Devin was also credited with saving lives after covering his wounded siblings to hide them before walking 13 miles to get help from relatives back in La Mora .
Relatives say he reached the community six hours later.
The suspect – only identified as a 30-year-old man named Leonardo – was found at the end of Tuesday in the city of Agua Prieta, directly on the border with the US state of Arizona, who held two hostages who were pinched and tied in a vehicle
Family members warned the authorities before arming themselves with weapons to search for the injured children. During this search, baby Faith was found in the back of the vehicle.
What the children have experienced in the remote, mountainous area of the state of Sonora is almost indescribable.
Miller said in a shooting report that Devin was one of the few non-injured young people and quickly took the lead and eventually returned to La Mora for help.
& # 39; After seeing his mother and brothers shot, Devin hid his six other siblings in the bushes and covered them with branches to keep them safe while he went for help, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; When it took too long to return, his 9-year-old sister left the remaining five to try again. & # 39;
That girl, Mckenzie Rayne Langford, walked for hours in the dark before being found several hours after the other kids were saved. She was reported missing for a while.
All in all, the children were alone from about 1 p.m. when the ambush began, until about 7.30 p.m. when they were rescued.
In recordings of calls between rescuers, they can hear debating whether it was better to risk more lives, or to wait an hour or two for the Mexican army troops to arrive. It was a painful decision.
Authorities said the suspect, who is part of an El Chapo rival cartel, was also found in possession of four assault rifles and ammunition, as well as several large vehicles, including a bulletproof SUV
What they saw when they found the kids was frightening.
Dawna's eight-year-old son, Cody Greyson Langford, was shot in the jaw and leg. Her 14-year-old daughter Kylie was shot in the foot and four-year-old Xander was shot in the back.
Brixon, a nine-month-old, suffered a gunshot wound to the chest. Her son Jake was found wounded in the same place, but it is not clear what his injuries are.
A suspected drug lord was arrested at the end of Tuesday and is being investigated for the slaughter of the LeBaron family.
The suspect – only identified as a 30-year-old man by the name of Leonardo – was found in the city of Agua Prieta, right on the border with the US state of Arizona, who held two hostages who were pinched and tied in a vehicle.
Authorities said the suspect, who is part of an El Chapo rival cartel, was also found in possession of four assault rifles and ammunition, as well as several large vehicles, including a bulletproof SUV.
The hostages are not believed to be family of the nine victims of the LeBaron family.
Destroyed relatives of the killed victims visited the scene of the horrific murders late Tuesday and were sobbing as they watched the burnt-out and bullet-hit SUVs.
Authorities have also released images of the children flown in with the help of the Mexican Air Force.
Dawna & # 39; s injured children are pictured above in the hospital. The brothers Xander Boe (4) and Cody Grayson (7) suffered gunshot wounds during the attack
Dawna & # 39; s injured children are pictured above in the hospital. Kylie Evelyn, 14, is pictured left in the hospital with blood-soaked jeans as she is comforted by a family member after the shocking attack. Brixon Oliver, 10 months old, feeds from a bottle (right) in the hospital next to his brothers and sisters
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on Wednesday that he was open to allowing US law enforcement to help with the massacre investigation, as officials revealed that the weapons used in the attack were being smuggled out of the US
Officials have said that the shooters of the cartel may have mistaken the large SUVs of the group for those of a rival gang amid a vicious grass war.
They also blamed the Juarez drug cartel and its armed wing, La Linea, for the attack on the LeBaron family.
The shooters of La Linea had entered the cartel area of Sinaloa and had set up an armed outpost on a hilltop and an ambush further down the road.
The Sinaloa cartel was previously led by Joaquín & # 39; El Chapo & # 39; Guzmán. The area where the attack took place is dominated by a Sinaloa cartel spur called the Salazar.
The Juarez cartel apparently wanted to send a message that it controlled the road to Chihuahua. It was this invasion force that drove the American mothers and their three vehicles.
Only after the family's first vehicle was shot and set on fire did 50 or 60 Sinaloa cartel guns show up to see what had happened.
& # 39; It is believed that La Linea criminal organization acted on a threat from the Salazars to enter Chihuahua, & # 39; said General Homero Mendoza. & # 39; It decided to send a cell to the city limits of Janos and Bavispe … This cell was sent to stop any raid of the Salazar criminal cell to Chihuahua. & # 39;
The military general also said that La Linea and the Salazars were involved in another shootout earlier on Monday that resulted in the death of a man.
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