The world paused in horror this week as the news of nine American citizens being ruthlessly slain began to circulate.
Three mothers and 14 children were ambushed by suspected cartel members while reportedly traveling from northern Mexico to the United States border, and at least nine of them lost their lives.
Family members were spread between three different SUVs before the Monday massacre, according to Fox News.
Gunmen attacked the convoy, shooting two mothers and two children between two vehicles.
The remaining five deceased individuals came from the third car, which was burned out when found.
One of the mothers killed, Christina Langford Johnson, is believed to have selflessly saved her 7-month-old daughter’s life by carefully placing the child’s car seat on the floorboard of the car as the gunmen began their attack.
Surviving family members said the mother then walked away from the car and waved her arms at the attackers before she was shot multiple times, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
Baby Faith “was found in her car seat that seemed to be put on the floor, by her mother to try and protect her,” Jacob Langford, a family member, wrote Tuesday on Facebook.
The mother was found dead only 15 yards away from the vehicle, the Daily Mail reported.
Her actions may have been what saved her daughter’s life.
Johnson wasn’t the only hero of the day, however.
Jacob Langford wrote in his Facebook post that 13-year-old Devin Blake Langford helped save six of his siblings from the gunmen’s hail of bullets.
“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. When he took too long to return, his 9 year old sister left the remaining five to try again,” Jacob Langford wrote.
“Devin arrived in LaMora at 5:30 pm, 6 hours after the ambush, giving the first news anyone had heard of his and Christina’s families.”
According to NBC News, the victims were members of the extended LeBaron family, who hold fundamentalist Mormon beliefs and moved to Mexico in 1924 after the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints became more strict about families who still practiced polygamy.
Now, many of the family members have been born in Mexico.
As a result, they maintain citizenship in both Mexico and America, according to Fox.
This isn’t the first time the LaBaron family has suffered loss at the hands of a cartel.
Ten years ago, two family members — including an anti-crime activist — were taken hostage and later murdered by the cartel.
Claudia Pavlovich Arellano, the governor of Sonora — the state where the most recent attack occurred — called the gunmen “cowards” and “monsters” Monday on Twitter.
“I don’t know what kind of monsters dare to hurt women and children. As governor, I will do everything to make sure this does not go unpunished and those responsible pay.”
President Donald Trump also chastised the violence south of the border.
“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,” he tweeted Tuesday. “We merely await a call from your great new president!”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2019
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family of the deceased cover medical and funeral costs.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the surviving family members as they mourn the lives so violently taken from them.
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