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


Kids In Crisis: Supporting your children with the right conversations

If you're the parent to teenage kids, you know getting them to talk isn't always easy -- and yet they need your help now more than ever.
13 hours ago
Karah Brackin, KSL TV

Springville community grieving after teen shot in attempted murder-suicide

The Springville community has turned into a sea of blue for 17-year-old Lily Conroy, who was shot Wednesday in an apparent murder-suicide attempt.
13 hours ago
Casey Scott, KSL TV

Spring Up with Casey: A sweet start to the morning with Cowboy Donuts

It's time to Spring up with Casey Scott, who is whipping up something tasty this morning with Cowboy Donuts.
13 hours ago
Tamara Vaifanua, KSL TV

‘Flip Blitz’: Utah communities converting thirsty grass to drought-resistant landscapes

Communities across the state are taking steps Thursday morning to help ease Utah’s long-term drought.
13 hours ago
Nathan Chen of Team United States reacts during the Men Single Skating Short Program on day four of...
Morgan Wolfe, KSL TV

Gold medalist Nathan Chen returns to the ice at Maverik Center

Salt Lake City showed Nathan Chen they’ll always support him.
2 days ago
New report highlights disparities of Utah Black women (Credit: KSL TV)...
Ladd Egan, KSL TV

New report highlights disparities of Utah Black women

Studies show Utah Black women have more jobs compared to other women in the state, but their wages are lower and face higher poverty rates.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Make Money Online Easily...

4 Ways that You Can Make Money Online Easily in Just a Few Clicks

Here are 4 ways that you can make money online easily in no time at all! Some are as simple as just a few clicks away.
tips to winterize your home...
Bonneville Digital SLC

Tips to Winterize Your Home | The Top 5 Ways You Can Prepare for the Cold Utah Winter Ahead

Before the snow hits, here are the top 5 tips to winterize your home to prepare for the cold Utah winter this year.
Utah Family Says Relatives Gunned Down In Attack In Mexico