Hero mum’s last words to kids as drug cartel gunmen kill 9 in Mexico massacre
A mum told her children to "get down" and prayed as she was shot dead by Mexican drug cartel gunmen who massacred her family.
Dawna Langford, 43, was hailed a hero after she and two of her children – Trevor, 11, and Rogan, two – died in the slaughter of nine members of the LeBaron Mormon family.
Mrs Langford's devastated son Devin, 13, who bravely hid the surviving children and walked 14 miles to get help, tearfully revealed her final words as he spoke about the massacre for the first time.
As the shooting started, the mum said "'get down right now', she was trying to pray the Lord", Devin told ABC News as he sat next to his father, David.
Devin escaped injury in the hail of gunfire. He said the gunmen were armed with rifles and were wearing vests.
After watching his mother and two of his brothers die in the ambush, he hid his six surviving siblings – some of whom were seriously injured – in bushes and then walked 14 miles back to the Mormon community of La Mora to raise the alarm.
His father said it was a miracle that children survived the attack, saying: "My boy’s a hero simply because he gave his life for his brothers and sisters."
He added: "I believe in forgiveness, but I also believe in justice and forgiveness doesn't rob justice. You don't get justice too much in Mexico."
Six other family members were killed in shootings at two other locations.
The charred bodies of mum Rhonita Maria Miller, 30, her eight-month-old twins Titus and Tiana, son Howard, 12, and daughter Krystal, 12, were found inside their burnt and bullet-riddled SUV.
Mum Christina Johnson, 29, was shot dead after getting out of her vehicle and raising her arms in the air to show gunmen that she was unarmed and not a threat.
Family said she saved her uninjured seven-month-old daughter, Faith, by hiding her in the back of the car.
Mrs Johnson was laid to rest on Saturday in the last of three funerals attended by hundreds of mourners.
More than 100 members of the LeBaron community, including Mr Langford and his children, have fled Mexico following the massacre, which happened close to the US border on November 4.
Mexican authorities said the victims may have been mistaken for members of a rival cartel as they travelled through the northern state of Sonora.
However, members of the LeBaron community, which has had run-ins with cartels and was recently warned over where it could travel, said they believe the victims were targeted.
Drug cartels have been battling for territory in the northern states that border the US.
The victims were dual US-Mexico citizens living in a breakaway Mormon community that first settled in the region about 100 years ago.
Mexico has invited the FBI to join its investigation into the slaughter, but said any US agents that participate will not be armed.
The FBI said: "The FBI remains committed to working alongside our international partners to help bring justice to the perpetrators of this heinous act of violence."
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