More than 100 people flee rural community in Mexico after attack that killed nine family members

More than 100 people flee rural community in Mexico after attack that killed nine family members
© Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

More than 100 people have left the rural Mexican community they’ve called home for decades on Saturday after the fatal ambush that killed nine family members, The Arizona Daily Star reported. 

The families arrived at a gas station in Douglas near the port of entry, filling up on gas and getting food before heading for Tuscon and Phoenix, according to the newspaper. 

Bryce Langford, who lost members of his family in the attack, told the newspaper most families are traveling to Phoenix and some to Tuscon, for now, but they aren’t sure where they will settle down long-term. 

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Langford was raised in La Mora, Mexico, but lives North Dakota now. He told the newspaper it wasn’t easy for his family to leave the land they’ve cultivated for more than 50 years and start over in the U.S. 

“The assets that they’ve acquired down there are tremendous,” he told the Arizona Daily Star. “And to have to up and leave from one day to the next and leave all that behind, there’s definitely a lot of sad people here.”

Other families in the Mormon community living in the two hamlets in Mexico’s Sonora state, La Mora and Colonia LeBaron, plan to depart in the coming days, The Associated Press reported. 

Nine women and children were killed in the attack that authorities have said were done by hit men from drug cartels. 

Langford told the Arizona Daily Star the community had learned of the cartel hitmen in the area in recent months and had been considering a move. After Monday’s ambush he said they decided to out of safety. 

Langford told the Arizona Daily Star he was on his way to visit his brother at a hospital in Tucson. Langford’s mother, Dawna Ray Langford, and two of her sons, aged 11 and 2, were killed in the attack. She is survived by her husband and 11 children, Bryce Langford told the newspaper. 

Another of his brothers reportedly hid six children in the brush and walked to La Mora to get help. 

“We’re very proud of him,” Bryce told the Arizona Daily Star. “To be able to make those kind of decisions under those circumstances is something not a lot of people can say they can do.”