Newly released voice messages reveal the heart-wrenching moments and chaos after this week’s deadly ambush of nine Americans in Mexico.
“Dawna and Christina are gone. They are not — they are dead,” a woman’s voice could be heard saying in a WhatsApp voice message.
“They opened fire… killed Dawna and the baby. And another one… and Dawna’s yelling at the kids to get down,” a man said in another.
Family members now reportedly say some of the gunmen were on a nearby hillside when they opened fire on the convoy. When the shooting stopped, the gunmen reportedly pulled the surviving children out, telling them in Spanish to leave the area. By then, several in the group had already lost their lives.
Two mothers and six of their children were laid to rest Thursday amid heavy security. Family members honoring their lives shared new details on their heroic efforts to save loved ones. A relative said Dawna Langford ordered her children to duck as their SUV came under fire. Langford is survived by her 13-year old son, Devin, who helped save his siblings by walking six hours to get help, reports CBS News correspondent Manuel Bojorquez.
Of the eight children who survived, several are still recovering. A relative said 8-year-old Cody, who was shot in the face, won’t be able to talk for six weeks following surgery where his jaw was wired shut. Loved ones released new video of 8-month-old Brixon who was shot in the chest, and 7-month old baby Faith who was found in her car seat after her mother, Christina Langford Johnson, was killed has now been reunited with a man identified as her father. Dozens of soldiers and police stood guard as relatives attended the services. Many who live in the area say the massacre is proof the Mexican government is unable to control the cartels. “Are some people leaving the area?” Bojorquez asked.
“There’s been talk of it because of the tragedy and they just don’t want that to happen to anymore of the families… the senselessness,” Lance LeBaron said.
On Thursday the Mexican president reiterated that the country would focus on combating violence by focusing on the root causes of poverty and unemployment. Some have called that strategy into question, saying this act of violence shows that the old cartel rules against killing foreigners, women, or children are no longer in place.