Utah Family Says Relatives Gunned Down In Attack In Mexico

Nov 4, 2019, 11:04 PM | Updated: 11:10 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The U.S. State Department said Monday it was aware of reports that U.S. citizens, including three mothers and several children with ties to Utah, were gunned down in a small town less than 100 miles south of the Mexican border.

“It’s terrible. I never could have imagined it. It’s been so peaceful down there. We’ve never been in the middle of any cartel violence at all,” said Taylor Langford, who was born and raised where it happened, more than a thousand miles south of Salt Lake City in a small Mexican town called La Mora.

The first sign of tragedy was the charred remains of a vehicle that Langford said belonged to his cousin Rhonita.

“They saw the smoke and went up to see what was going on,” he said of his relatives who live there.

Langford said Rhonita and four of her children, including twin babies, were inside the car heading to Arizona when they were ambushed, shot and then burned.

“Helpless families are being innocently killed down there,” Langford said.

“These are U.S. citizens,” Langford’s wife, Laura, added.

The Langfords were among several family members in Utah who waited anxiously throughout Monday for any hint of good news. Sadly, the updates only grew worse.

“This was an attack on families, women and children. They need to step in and protect their citizens,” Langford said, speaking of the Mexican government.

His aunt Dawna was traveling in a separate car with nine of her children. She and at least three of the children were killed, according to family.

The whereabouts of the others were unknown for much of the day until her 13-year-old son managed to escape back to town to alert others that his siblings were hiding and wounded.

Langford said his other cousin Christina was also riding in the group, in another car with her baby. Christina was killed and the baby somehow survived, despite being hit, according to Langford.

Langford said the shooting from the cartels lasted much of the day, leaving his parents, siblings and hundreds of others in the small town with little choice but to stay inside. Many of them go back and forth between Utah and Mexico.

“Most of them are hunkered down. They don’t know what else to do,” Langford said.

“They’re terrified,” Laura Langford said. “They’re waiting for help from the government.”

Waiting, hoping and praying that the heartbreaking news will end soon.

“It’s not just got caught in gunfire in the wrong place at the wrong time. This was a whole new level of cartel violence,” Taylor Langford said.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson said, “We are aware of these reports. The safety and welfare of U.S. citizens abroad is among the Department of State’s top priorities. When a U.S. citizen is missing or passes away overseas, we engage with local officials at multiple levels and provide all appropriate consular assistance.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Madison Swenson

Taylorsville man arrested, charged for possessing fentanyl with intent to distribute

A 25-year-old man from Taylorsville has been arrested and charged for possessing fentanyl with intent to distribute following an undercover operation.
13 hours ago
Brenda Emile, 28, and Miller Costello, 30, were each sentenced Friday to life in prison without the...
Kaitlyn Bancroft

Ogden judge sentences ‘monsters’ in brutal child abuse case to life without parole

An Ogden couple was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole in a brutal child abuse murder that the judge called "evil" and "atrocious" and the worst case of torture he has seen.
13 hours ago
Police say Ivy Chase Grant, 26, and Taddy Avalon Jackman, 43, are wanted in connection to a stabbin...
Josh Ellis

SLC police identify two suspects wanted in connection to fatal stabbing

Police are asking for the public's help to locate two men who are wanted in connection to a fatal stabbing.
13 hours ago
Emily Ashcraft

Jury finds Sandy mom guilty of abusing, killing 6-year-old son

A jury found a Sandy mom guilty of reckless child abuse homicide in the death of her 6-year-old son through abuse related to potty-training challenges.
13 hours ago
Karah Brackin

Father, daughter reunited after finding each other through DNA testing

Thirty some years ago in Utah, the decision to put a baby girl up for adoption was made. Since then, a dad’s search to find his daughter never stopped. Neither did hers.
13 hours ago
Ashley Moser

Local businesses, city gear up to host 100,000 visitors during NBA All-Star weekend

Local businesses are gearing up for big crowds for the NBA All-Star Game in two weeks.
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Utah Family Says Relatives Gunned Down In Attack In Mexico