A 13-year-old boy walked for six hours to get help for his ambushed family after hiding his brothers and sisters in the bushes in Mexico to keep them safe from gunfire.
Devin Blake Langford made the approximately 14-mile trek after watching his mother and two of his siblings be shot to death in a brutal massacre that claimed the lives of three adults and six children. The family’s convoy of SUVs were attacked in Sonora, Mexico as they were driving away from the La Mora community where they lived.
Dawna Langford — Devin’s mother — had been driving one of two SUVs headed to meet family in Chihuahua when the gunfire broke out. She was killed along with two of Devin’s younger brothers, 11-year-old Trevor Langford and 2-year-old Rogan Langford.
The driver of the second SUV, Christina Marie Langford Johnson, 31, had leapt out of the car to try to alert the gunman that it was only women and children in the SUVs, but she was shot to death, according to post on Facebook from relative Kendra Lee Miller.
Before she had gotten out of the vehicle, she seemingly placed her young 7-month-old daughter’s carseat hastily on the floor, saving the infant’s life.
“She gave her life to try and save the rest,” Miller wrote.
A third SUV — about 10 miles behind the other two — had been headed to an airport in Arizona, Miller said.
The driver, Rhonita Maria Miller, 30, and four of her children, Howard, 12; Krystal, 10; and 8-month twins Titus and Tiana were all “burned to mostly ashes” after a bullet ignited the SUV’s gas tank, according to Miller's post.
After witnessing the bloody ambush, Devin hid his six other siblings in the bushes, covering them with branches to keep them safe as he started the long walk back to the family’s home. Five of his siblings had been injured in the gunfire — including almost 9-month-old Brixon who was shot in the chest, Miller wrote.
It took him six hours to walk the approximately 14 miles through mountainous terrain before he arrived back at the family’s home around 5:30 p.m. and alerted his uncles, who armed themselves and tried to retrieve the injured children.
“They didn’t get far before realizing they would be risking death, since there had been continual shooting for hours, all over the mountains near LaMora,” Miller said.
The group waited for reinforcements and were able to find the children around 7:30 p.m. However, 9-year-old Mckenzie Langford, who had been grazed in the arm, was not there. She had also left to find help after her brother did not return.
She was later found alive by search parties after wandering in the dark for four hours.
The five children who had been injured in the gunfire were initially treated at a local hospital before their father— who had arrived from Tucson — accompanied them to a hospital in Phoenix. Devin, his brother Jake and Christina Johnson’s young daughter remained with their family in La Mora.
The nine dead had been dual citizens in Mexico and the United States, authorities have said.
Mexican authorities have said the family may have been mistakenly caught in a battle between rival drug gangs, however, others have suggested the family may have been targeted in the merciless attack, CBS News reports.
“Three vehicles with women and children in broad daylight. There was no mistaken identity,” Taylor Langford, a nephew of one of the women killed, told the news outlet. “I felt that this was in broad daylight and…no one could have done that not knowing what they were doing.”
Mexican authorities have announced that one man who may have been involved in the killings has been taken into custody.
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