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Mexican police officer shot 150 times in retaliation for drug lord El Chapo's son's arrest {VIDEO}

Heavily armed hitman of rival El Chapo cartel is arrested over Mormon massacre after a stand-off at the US border where he held two HOSTAGES - Relatives visiting the scene of the slaughter

A Mexican police officer in Sinaloa state was gunned down on Wednesday in a hail of bullets

  • WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
  • Eduardo Triana Sandoval was shot dead Wednesday in Culiacán, Sinaloa, just 15 minutes after he finished his shift
  • The chief of Sinaloa Secretariat of Security and Civilian Protection said Triana Sandoval was not physically present at the arrest of El Chapo's son
  • Cristóbal Castañeda Camarillo said the 32-year-old cop was off-duty October 17 but showed up for work when news of the raid became public
  • Triana Sandoval was part of the state police unit that responded to reports of gunmen patrolling the streets and inmates fleeing a prison
  • The military entered the home of Ovidio Guzmán López that afternoon but were force to release him as gunmen led a war-like assault and kidnapped soldiers 
  • Footage of Triana Sandoval's murder shows the moment two gunmen emerge from a red sedan in parking lot 
  • They fired 155 rounds into the cop's white Nissan parked outside a shopping center at 7.15pm, local time
Police officer Eduardo Triana Sandoval, 32, was murdered by two unknown gunmen outside a shopping center in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Wednesday night moments after he had finished his shift

Police officer Eduardo Triana Sandoval, 32, was murdered by two unknown gunmen outside a shopping center in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Wednesday night moments after he had finished his shift 

A Mexican police officer killed in an ambush acted as a lookout to spot cartel gunmen patrolling the streets on the day El Chapo's son was arrested.

Eduardo Triana Sandoval, 32, was murdered by two unknown gunmen outside a shopping center in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Wednesday night moments after he had finished his shift.

Local media outlets reported the fallen cop played a role in the foiled attempt to nab Ovidio Guzmán López. 

But Cristóbal Castañeda Camarillo, chief of Sinaloa Secretariat of Security and Civilian Protection, said that Triana Sandoval and other members of the state police were not participants in the raid.

Castañeda Camarillo revealed that Triana Sandoval was not scheduled to work October 17 when he presented himself for duty at the state police command center in Culiacán after news broke of a war-like battle between an armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel and the military near Guzmán López's home in the Tres Ríos neighborhood.

The official added that Triana Sandoval accompanied him to the Aguaruto Penitentiary, where 49 inmates had escaped from as chaos engulfed Culiacán.

Shocking assassination of officer who arrested El Chapo's son
Local media outlets reported the fallen cop (pictured) played a role in the foiled attempt to nab Ovidio Guzmán López but the Sinaloa state police said he and other department agents responded to reports of inmates fleeing a prison and armed gang members patrolling the streets of Culiacán on October 17

Local media outlets reported the fallen cop (pictured) played a role in the foiled attempt to nab Ovidio Guzmán López but the Sinaloa state police said he and other department agents responded to reports of inmates fleeing a prison and armed gang members patrolling the streets of Culiacán on October 17

A Mexican police officer in Sinaloa state was gunned down on Wednesday in a hail of bullets

Triana Sandoval was also part of a unit that was dispatched to several areas where Sinaloa Cartel armed fighters were spotted patrolling the streets before the gang put down its weapons and retreated. 

'He did not participate directly, just as no element of the state police participated in the operation that the federal authorities have carried out on the subject that you all know,' Castañeda Camarillo said.

'The participation of the authorities of the state of Sinaloa was to respond to the different reports on the presence of armed people in different parts of the city. So, this unit element did not participate directly in any detention on the 17th.'

CCTV captured the horrifying moment when at least two armed men with semiautomatic rifles climbed out of a red car and opened fire at a white Nissan four-door sedan. 

The ambush took less than 30 seconds as the gunmen used an AR-15 and AK-47 to fired at least 150 bullets into the white vehicle. 

The red car had followed the white car into the parking lot of a shopping center in Culiacán, the capital of the state of Sinaloa.

Triana Sandoval joined the police force six years ago and was a member of the Elite Force. 

He also served on the security detail team assigned to guard the deputy secretary of the Sinaloa Secretariat of Security and Civilian Protection.

His friend Gabriel Santos told DailyMail.com that 'bravery' was one of his virtues' that the made him stand out.

Triana Sandoval joined the police force six years ago and was a member of the Elite Force
Triana Sandoval joined the police force six years ago and was a member of the Elite Force
This October 17, 2019, frame grab from video provided by the Mexican government shows Ovidio Guzmán López at the moment of his detention, in Culiacán, Mexico

This October 17, 2019, frame grab from video provided by the Mexican government shows Ovidio Guzmán López at the moment of his detention, in Culiacán, Mexico

At least two men armed with semiautomatic rifles fired 155 bullets into a white Nissan parked near a shopping center in the Sinaloa city of Culiacán
Closed circuit television images captured the scene in which the armed men drove up to the white Nissan in a red car

Closed circuit television images captured the scene in which the armed men drove up to the white Nissan in a red car

The armed men are seen getting out of the red vehicle and opening fire almost immediately at the white Nissan

The armed men are seen getting out of the red vehicle and opening fire almost immediately at the white Nissan

The ambush on Wednesday evening at the shopping center took less than 30 seconds

The ambush on Wednesday evening at the shopping center took less than 30 seconds

Authorities are investigating whether the two men, who remain at-large, carried out the killing in response to Triana Sandoval's limited role the day soldiers failed to arrest Guzmán López.

Triana Sandoval lived in the town of Costa Rica, where armed men took over a highway toll both to distract law enforcement agents.

Mexican security forces had Guzmán López outside a house on his knees against a wall before they were forced to back off and let him go as his cartel's gunmen shot up the Culiacán.

Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval last week showed video and presented a timeline of the failed operation to arrest Guzmán López - an incident that embarrassed the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

The video shot by soldiers shows Guzmán López exit the house with his hands up. 

Soldiers order him to call off the attacks around the city as gunfire is heard in the background.

Guzmán López called his brother Archivaldo Iván Guzmán Salazar on his cellphone and told him to stop the chaos.

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Soldiers ask El Chapo's son to call off attacks before letting him go
The Mexican government released video footage of the failed arrest of Ovidio Guzmán López's October 17 (pictured)
Cartel leader Iván Archivaldo Guzmán ordered an all-out attack on the Mexican military after they surrounded his brother's house

Cartel leader Iván Archivaldo Guzmán ordered an all-out attack on the Mexican military after they surrounded his brother's house 

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Ovidio Guzmán López

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (left) defended the decision to release Guzmán López (right), saying he was protecting civilian lives

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Sinaloa cartel brings havoc to Mexico after arrest of El Chapo's son

Archivaldo Guzmán refused and shouted threats against the soldiers and their families. 

The attacks continued and eight minutes later the first wounded soldiers were reported.

Archivaldo Guzmán surely knew at that point that the cartel had the upper hand and ordered his men to stand down after Guzmán López was released.

Thirteen people were killed in gun battles around the city. 

Officials in Mexico City ultimately ordered security forces to withdraw four hours after the operation began to avoid more bloodshed.

Mexico's Public Safety Secretary Alfonso Durazo said that the aborted operation to arrest Guzmán Lopez was a 'hasty action' that deserves criticism - but the details revealed that the arrest had been in the works for more than a week.

The government's timeline of events showed that the U.S. government requested Guzmán López's arrest for extradition on September 13, and on October 9 a special Mexican army anti-drug unit traveled from Mexico City to Culiacán to prepare.   

Authorities were still in the process of obtaining a search warrant when the operation began on October 17 outside a large home where Guzmán López had been located. 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

3 American Mormon mothers and 6 of their children are EXECUTED and their bodies left in burned out SUVs Suspected drug lord is arrested over slaying of Mormon family

  • Mexican authorities arrested a suspected drug lord on Tuesday after nine Americans were slaughtered by cartel gunmen
  • The suspect - only identified as Leonardo - was found Tuesday in the town of Agua Prieta, right at the border with the U.S. state of Arizona 
  • Investigators say the suspect was holding two hostages who were gagged and tied inside a vehicle 
  • The suspect was found in the possession of four assault rifles and ammunition smuggled in from the U.S., as well as various large vehicles including a bullet-proofed SUV
  • The hostages are not believed to be related to the nine LeBaron family victims who were killed on Monday while traveling in a convoy of three SUVs 
  • Officials have said that the cartel gunmen may have mistaken the group's large SUVs for those of a rival gang amid a vicious turf war
  • Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on Wednesday he was open to allowing U.S. law enforcement to help out with the massacre investigation 
  • The killers were members of rival El Chapo cartel - the Juarez drug cartel and its armed wing called La Linea
  • The suspect arrested of the slayings reportedly told authorities he belonged to the La Linea cartel

The suspect - only identified as a 30-year-old man named Leonardo - was found late Tuesday in the town of Agua Prieta, right at the border with the U.S. state of Arizona, holding two hostages who were gagged and tied inside a vehicle

The suspect - only identified as a 30-year-old man named Leonardo - was found late Tuesday in the town of Agua Prieta, right at the border with the U.S. state of Arizona, holding two hostages who were gagged and tied inside a vehicle

A heavily armed suspected drug lord has been arrested and is under investigation for the slaughter of nine Americans, including three mothers and six children, after the Mormon family was ambushed in northern Mexico by cartel gunmen. 

The suspect - only identified as a 30-year-old man named Leonardo - was found late Tuesday in the town of Agua Prieta, right at the border with the U.S. state of Arizona, holding two hostages who were gagged and tied inside a vehicle, Mexico's Agency for Criminal Investigation said.  

Authorities said the suspect, who is part of an El Chapo rival cartel, was also found in the possession of four assault rifles and ammunition, as well as various large vehicles including a bullet-proofed SUV.

The hostages are not believed to be related to the nine LeBaron family victims who were killed on Monday while traveling in a convoy of three SUVS on a dirt road in Sonora state. 

The Sonora prosecutor's office told DailyMail.com they were still investigating if the arrested suspect is connected to the brutal slayings. 

Devastated family members of the slain victims visited the scene of the grisly murders late on Tuesday and were pictured sobbing as they saw the burnt out and bullet riddled SUVs. 

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on Wednesday he was open to allowing U.S. law enforcement to help out with the massacre investigation as officials revealed that the weapons used in the attack were smuggled from the U.S. 

Officials have said that the cartel gunmen may have mistaken the group's large SUVs for those of a rival gang amid a vicious turf war. 

They also blamed Juarez drug cartel and its armed wing, La Linea, for the attack on the LeBaron family.   

Authorities said the suspect, who is part of an El Chapo rival cartel, was also found in the possession of four assault rifles and ammunition, as well as various large vehicles including a bullet-proofed SUV

Authorities said the suspect, who is part of an El Chapo rival cartel, was also found in the possession of four assault rifles and ammunition, as well as various large vehicles including a bullet-proofed SUV 

Emotional members of the LeBaron family look into the burned SUV where some of the nine murdered family members were killed and burned during a cartel gunmen ambush on Monday

Emotional members of the LeBaron family look into the burned SUV where some of the nine murdered family members were killed and burned during a cartel gunmen ambush on Monday

Devastated family members of the slain victims visited the scene of the grisly murders late on Tuesday and were pictured sobbing as they saw the burnt out and bullet riddled SUVs

Devastated family members of the slain victims visited the scene of the grisly murders late on Tuesday and were pictured sobbing as they saw the burnt out and bullet riddled SUVs

Soldiers assigned to Mexico's National Guard stand by a bullet-riddled vehicle belonging to one of the mothers gunned down in the cartel ambush that killed nine

Soldiers assigned to Mexico's National Guard stand by a bullet-riddled vehicle belonging to one of the mothers gunned down in the cartel ambush that killed nine

The interior of a bullet-riddled vehicle belonging to one of the families that were killed by assailants is pictured at the scene of the crime

The interior of a bullet-riddled vehicle belonging to one of the families that were killed by assailants is pictured at the scene of the crime

Police found a baby car seat spattered with blood in a bullet-riddled SUV that was being driven by one of the mothers

Police found a baby car seat spattered with blood in a bullet-riddled SUV that was being driven by one of the mothers

Distraught members of the LeBaron family mourn while they watch the burned car where nine members of their family were killed and burned

Relative of Mexico massacre victims speaks out about justice

La Linea's gunmen had entered Sinaloa cartel territory and set up an armed outpost on a hilltop and an ambush further up the road. 

The Sinaloa cartel was previously headed by Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán. The area where the attack occurred is dominated by a Sinaloa cartel offshoot called the Salazar.

The Juarez cartel apparently wanted to send a message that it controlled the road into Chihuahua. It was this invasion force that the American mothers and their three vehicles drove into.

It was only after the first vehicle belonging to the family was shot up and set alight that 50 or 60 Sinaloa cartel gunmen showed up to see what had happened. 

'It is believed that the La Linea criminal organization acted on a threat from the Salazars to enter Chihuahua,' General Homero Mendoza said. 'It decided to send a cell to the Janos and Bavispe city limits… This cell was sent to stop any incursion of the Salazar criminal cell to Chihuahua.' 

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. 

The mothers were driving in separate vehicles with their children from the La Mora religious community where they live, which is a decades-old settlement in Sonora state founded as part of an offshoot of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Rhonita Miller and four of her children - her six-month-old twins, Titus and Tiana, her 10-year-old daughter Krystal and 12-year-old son Howard - were all killed. Another two mothers, Dawna Langford and Christina Langford Johnson, as well as Dawna's sons, Trevor, 11, and Rogan, 3, were also all killed. 

Eight children, some just infants, survived the ambush. Those surviving children not only escaped the drug cartel gunmen who killed their mothers but managed to hide in the brush for hours until help arrived. 

The five wounded children were seriously enough injured that Mexican authorities flew them to the border in a military helicopter to receive hospital care in the United States. Sonora state health officials said they were 'stable' at the moment of transfer. Three other children who were not wounded are in the care of family members in La Mora.  

At least three American mothers and six children from a Mormon community based in northern Mexico have been massacred in an attack blamed on drug cartel gunmen. Maria Rhonita Miller was killed along with her six-month-old twins, Titus and Tiana (left and right), her 10-year-old daughter Krystal (left) and 12-year-old son Howard (center)

At least three American mothers and six children from a Mormon community based in northern Mexico have been massacred in an attack blamed on drug cartel gunmen. Maria Rhonita Miller was killed along with her six-month-old twins, Titus and Tiana (left and right), her 10-year-old daughter Krystal (left) and 12-year-old son Howard (center) 

Christina Langford Johnson was killed while her seven-month-old baby Faith survived
Dawna Ray Langford was killed alongside two of her children, aged 11 and 3

Christina Langford Johnson (left) and Dawna Ray Langford (right) were also killed traveling in two separate SUVs. Christina saved her seven-month-old baby Faith's life by throwing the infant to the floor of their SUV. Two of Dawna's children, Trevor, 11, and Rogan, 3, were killed in the attack

Dawna's three-year-old son Rogan was killed
Dawna's 11-year-old son Trevor was killed

Dawna Ray Langford, 43, and two of her children, Trevor, 11, (right with his mom) and Rogan, 3, (left) also died in the attack

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

They were attacked by cartel gunmen in what he said may have been a case of mistaken identity

  • At least nine U.S. citizens, including six children, who live in the Mexican border state of Sonora were killed in a shooting attack Monday 
  • Rhonita Maria LeBaron, died along with her 6-month-old twins and her two other children, aged 10 and 12  
  • Christina Langford Johnson, Dawna Langford and two of Dawna's children, aged 11 and three, were also killed
  • The victims belong to the LeBaron family - a breakaway Mormon community that settled in the hills of northern Mexico decades ago 
  • At the time of the attack, 17 of the family members were traveling in three cars from the settlement 
  • According to relatives, drug cartel gunman opened fire and torched vehicles as the victims burned to death 
  • Mexico's top security official Alfonso Durazo said on Tuesday cartel gunmen may have mistaken the group's large SUVs for rival gangs 
  • Nine of the family members were slaughtered in the massacre and one child was still missing 
  • Six children were wounded in the attack and five have since been transferred to hospitals in Phoenix, Arizona 

President Donald Trump has waged a war on Mexican drug cartels after three American mothers and six children from a Mormon community based in northern Mexico were massacred by cartel gunmen. 

The victims, who belonged to the LeBaron family, were ambushed about eight miles apart in the Mexican border state of Sonora on Monday while traveling in a convoy of three SUVs. 

At the time of the attack, 17 of the family members were traveling from the La Mora religious community where they live, which is a decades-old settlement in Sonora state founded as part of an offshoot of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

La Mora is about 70 miles south of Douglas in Arizona and many of the church's members were born in Mexico and thus have dual citizenship. 

Mexico's top security official Alfonso Durazo blamed cartel gunmen on Tuesday for the attack and said they may have mistaken the group's large SUVs for rival gangs. 

Nine of the LeBaron family members, who have ties to Utah, were slaughtered in the massacre and one child was still missing, Mexican authorities said. Six children were wounded in the attack and five have since been transferred to hospitals in Phoenix, Arizona.

The slaughter of U.S. citizens on Mexican soil quickly became an international issue with Trump on Tuesday vowing to help Mexico wage a war on its drug cartels. He said in a series of tweets that the LeBaron family had gotten caught up between 'two vicious drug cartels'. Mexican officials have not confirmed if this was the case.    

'If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these monsters, the United States stands ready, willing & able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively,' Trump tweeted. 'The great new President of Mexico has made this a big issue, but the cartels have become so large and powerful that you sometimes need an army to defeat an army! 

'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!'  

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador responded to Trump's tweet, saying 'war is the worst thing that can happen' and said he doesn't believe lethal force would solve them problem.  

'We declared war, and it didn't work,' Lopez Obrador said at a press conference, referring to the policies of previous administrations.'That is not an option.' 

At least three American mothers and six children from a Mormon community based in northern Mexico have been massacred in an attack blamed on drug cartel gunmen. Maria Rhonita Miller was killed along with her six-month-old twins, Titus and Tiana (left and right), her 10-year-old daughter Krystal (left) and 12-year-old son Howard (center)

At least three American mothers and six children from a Mormon community based in northern Mexico have been massacred in an attack blamed on drug cartel gunmen. Maria Rhonita Miller was killed along with her six-month-old twins, Titus and Tiana (left and right), her 10-year-old daughter Krystal (left) and 12-year-old son Howard (center) 

Christina Langford Johnson was killed while her seven-month-old baby Faith survived
Dawna Ray Langford was killed alongside two of her children, aged 11 and 3

Christina Langford Johnson (left) and Dawna Ray Langford (right) were also killed traveling in two separate SUVs. Christina saved her seven-month-old baby Faith's life by throwing the infant to the floor of their SUV. Two of Dawna's children, Trevor, 11, and Rogan, 3, were killed in the attack

Dawna's three-year-old son Rogan was killed
Dawna's 11-year-old son Trevor was killed

Dawna Ray Langford, 43, and two of her children, Trevor, 11, (right with his mom) and Rogan, 3, (left) also died in the attack

Several family members took to social media following the massacre and described horrific scenes, including how gunmen opened fire on one child running away while others burned to death inside a car that was torched. 

Other young children managed to escape and hide by the roadside while one of the mothers was shot in the chest as she put her hands up to surrender. Relatives fear some of the victims may have been raped.  

One family member has described how a boy managed to hide his wounded siblings - some less than a year old - in bushes before he ran back to the nearby town to get help after his mother was gunned down. 

It is not yet clear what motivated the killings, which took place on a dirt road between Chihuahua and Sonora states, both bordering the United States. 

Family members believe it was an attempted kidnapping after one relative reported receiving a phone call hearing screams before they were executed.

Family members say Rhonita Maria LeBaron was driving to Phoenix on Monday with her four children to pick up her husband and then return to Mexico to celebrate their wedding anniversary. 

The relatives say her car had broken down when gunmen opened fire and torched her vehicle causing the gas tank to explode. 

She was killed along with her twin six-month-old babies, Titus and Tiana, her 10-year-old daughter Krystal and 12-year-old son Howard. 

A video posted on social media showed the charred and smoking remains of the vehicle riddled with bullet holes that was apparently carrying the victims when the attack happened. 

'This is for the record,' a male voice with an American accent can be heard saying while filming the clip. 

'Nita and four of my grandchildren are burnt and shot up,' he said. 

Eight miles away in different attacks, several other family members were gunned down. 

Christina Langford Johnson, 29, Dawna Ray Langford, 43, and two of Dawna's children, Trevor, 11, and Rogan, 3, also died while traveling in two other SUVs. 

Family members say Christina saved her seven-month-old baby Faith's life by throwing the infant to the floor of their SUV as bullets tore through the vehicle. Relatives say the baby had been in the back of the car all day before rescuers found her.  

Seven of Dawna's children survived but suffered multiple gunshot wounds, according to relatives.  

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Aftermath of car explosion where US family was attacked in Mexico
A convoy of three vehicles had set out Monday from La Mora
They were attacked by cartel gunmen in what he said may have been a case of mistaken identity

A video posted on social media showed the charred and smoking remains of one of the vehicles riddled with bullet holes that was apparently carrying the victims when the attack happened 

The shooting occurred near the town of Bavispe between Sonora and Chihuahua near the US-Mexico border

The shooting occurred near the town of Bavispe between Sonora and Chihuahua near the US-Mexico border 

Relatives have since taken to social media to share horrific details of the attack, including fears that some of the victims were raped.

They also described how one mother got out of her car during the siege and put her hands up to surrender before being shot in the chest at point blank range. 

They described how the injured children were left abandoned on the dirt road by their attackers. 

One of Dawna's sons managed to hide his injured siblings before running to a nearby town for help, according to relatives.  

Relatives have since been paying tribute to their slain family members while also praising the heroic efforts of the surviving children. 

'My beautiful niece.. I'm heartbroken I'm so so sorry you became a victim of the evil in this world. You will always be my angel girl. Hold your babies tight. Love you Dawna, Rogan and Trevor eternally #familieswillbetogetherforever,' Trish Cloes posted on Facebook. 

'The evil might of had a plan on this earth but God has a greater plan for our family.' 

She added in a later post: 'Dawna's children escaped with bullet holes in several places on their bodies. The children managed to get help under horrible circumstances.

'The children managed to escape with their baby brother. Baby was harmed with a bullet across his chest and through his arm. (Just got an update) This is a courage act of these innocent children.'

Dawna's son Xander Boe
Dawna's son Cody Grayson

Dawna's injured children are pictured above in hospital. Brothers Xander Boe, 4, and Cody Grayson, 7, suffered gunshot wounds in the attack

Dawna's injured daughter: Kylie Evelyn, 14, is pictured in hospital with blood soaked jeans as she is comforted by a relative following thew shocking attack
Dawna's injured son: Brixon Oliver, 10 months, feeds from a bottle in hospital alongside siblings

Dawna's injured children are pictured above in hospital. Kylie Evelyn, 14, is pictured left in hospital with blood soaked jeans as she is comforted by a relative following thew shocking attack. Brixon Oliver, 10 months, feeds from a bottle (right) in hospital alongside his siblings

Kenny LeBarón, a cousin of one of the women, told the New York Times: 'When you know there are babies tied in a car seat that are burning because of some twisted evil that's in this world. It's just hard to cope with that.'

Another relative, Lafe LeBaron, said the family had no help from authorities. He said family members from the settlement had risked their own lives by 'scrambling into the mountains to find our loved ones' after first finding out about the attacks.     

Julian LeBaron, a relative and activist who has denounced criminal groups in the area, described the attack as a 'massacre'. 

His brother, Benjamin LeBaron, founder of a crime-fighting group called SOS Chihuahua, was assassinated in 2009. 

When asked who might be responsible, LeBaron said the attack took place in a 'war zone', home to drug cartels and 'thugs'. 

The government deployed the army to fight drug trafficking in 2006, but experts blame the so-called 'drug war' for the spiraling violence between fragmented cartels and the military, which has lead to more than 250,000 murders. 

His family 'may have been caught in crossfire or targeted by mistake, we don't know the cause,' he said, but added that the Mormon community had recently been the target of threats. 

Family members say Rhonita Maria LeBaron was driving to Phoenix on Monday with her four children to pick up her husband and then return to Mexico to celebrate their wedding anniversary
She was killed along with her twin six-month-old babies, Titus and Tiana, her 10-year-old daughter Krystal and 12-year-old son Howard.

Family members say Rhonita Maria LeBaron (left) was driving to Phoenix on Monday with her four children to pick up her husband and then return to Mexico to celebrate their wedding anniversary. She was killed along with her twin six-month-old babies, Titus and Tiana, (right) her 10-year-old daughter Krystal and 12-year-old son Howard.

Rhonita Maria LeBaron was driving to Phoenix on Monday with her four children to pick up her husband and then return to Mexico to celebrate their wedding anniversary, relatives say

Rhonita Maria LeBaron was driving to Phoenix on Monday with her four children to pick up her husband and then return to Mexico to celebrate their wedding anniversary, relatives say 

Rhonita's son Howard Jacob
Rhonita's daughter Krystal

 Rhonita Maria LeBaron's two children, 12-year-old Howard and 10-year-old Krystal, were killed alongside their mother

Dawna Langford (center blue dress) was killed along with two of her children. Seven of her other children escaped and the injured were later treated in hospital
Dawna Langford (center blue dress) was killed along with two of her children. Seven of her other children escaped and the injured were later treated in hospital 

The Chihuahua state attorney general, Cesar Augusto Peniche, said the number of victims killed in the attacks remains 'confused'. 

Authorities in Sonora state and the U.S. Embassy did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

The federal Department of Security and Citizens' Protection said security forces were reinforced with National Guard, army and state police troops in the area following 'the reports about disappearance and aggression against several people.' 

The U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau said in a tweet in Spanish that 'the safety of our fellow citizens is our top priority. I am closely following the situation in the mountains between Sonora and Chihuahua'.

Claudia Pavlovich Arellano, the governor of Sonora, said on Twitter late Monday that 'as a mother,' she was filled with deep pain by 'the cowardly acts in the mountains'.  

'I don't know what kind of monsters dare to hurt women and children,' she wrote. 

Senator for Sonora, Lilly Téllez, tweeted: 'The massacre in Sonora cannot go unpunished.'

Manuel Añorve Baños, another Mexican senator, described the incident 'a despicable, merciless and savage act'.

It would not be the first time that members of the break-away church had been attacked in northern Mexico, where their forebears settled - often in Chihuahua state - decades ago.

The colony was founded by Alma Dayer LeBaron who moved to Mexico as a breakaway from the Mormon church in 1924 after being excommunicated from the church for practicing polygamy. 

When Alma died in 1951, he passed the leadership of the community on to his son Joel LeBaron, whose younger brother Ervil LeBaron, was his second in command.

When the brother's split, Ervil had Joel killed. He was tried and convicted in Mexico for Joel's murder in 1974. He died in prison in 1981.

In 2009, Benjamin LeBaron, an anti-crime activist who was related to those killed in Monday's attack, was murdered in 2009 in neighboring Chihuahua state. 

One former member is George Romney, father of 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who was born in 1907 in Colonia Dublan in Chihuahua state. 

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Comment by Jeffrey L Donovan on Sunday

Castrate them, then excecute them when they are caught. No wonder that gay said that they are rapists and murderers.

Comment by frost on Saturday
Comment by Robert on Saturday
Lolol maybe Trump is right, put up a wall..
Comment by wu banga on Friday

Mormans in mexico. these white have had no business in that country on that land in the first place... next couple years they would be acting like thats their land and mormans are natives... whats not funny is that mormans belief and practice that the brown black people are cursed from so-called heaven during some war in the sky. it is unfortunate when there is a lost of life no doubt. 

Comment by vaughn mitchell on November 6, 2019 at 10:13pm
@Lu, do you think borders are going to stop them, stop blaming Democrats. If people stop buying these drugs s*** would be different. You want to stop the drugs let the Mexican government let the DEA, come in and help clean up the mess, the drug money they find they can split it. Stop arresting the cartels, and execute them. That Filipino President, is getting rid of the drug dealers the right way, f*** jail, kill them let them live in fear. They need to put fear in the cartels. The Democrats, did not bring crack cocaine in the US, the Republicans did, just like the killing in Chicago, which has stricter gun laws than new york, but the guns and drugs are coming from Indiana, who had a right to carry loose gun law.
Comment by Lu on November 5, 2019 at 9:56pm

Thank the Democrats...They don't want to put borders up...because that's so-called cheap labor for their tasks.BUT ALL I SEE IS THE MEXICANS GETTING OVER LIKE S FAT RAT JUST LIKE THE COLUMBIANS IN FLORIDA ..AND WASHING THEIR CARTEL MONEY IN PHONY AND/OR LEGAL BUSINESS ENTITLED OF ALL AMERICAN TAX BRACKETS AND GAINS. Keep up eating their tacos and guacamole...They've been planning to massacre some Americans for a LONG TIME. 

MY OPINION .PERIOD

Comment by vaughn mitchell on November 5, 2019 at 5:31pm
Oboy, the Mexican, president, is going to give Trump, the ok, to bring in U. S. Soldiers for help. The Cartels, will know what a war is Trump,like stuff like this where he can brag about wiping out the cartels.

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