Nine members of a family with dual Mexican and American citizenship have been killed in Mexico. They were reportedly traveling together for safety when they were ambushed on Monday afternoon.
Three women were driving three vehicles between Sonora and Chihuahua with a total of 14 children when they were ambushed, shot at and set on fire. The women and six of the children died. Some of their remains were found later in a burned SUV. Seven other children were reportedly injured and one child is missing.
The victims were members of the LeBaron family, which is part of a fundamentalist Mormon community that moved to Mexico several decades ago. Mexico's security minister said sport utility vehicles the women were driving "could have been confused by the criminal groups that are fighting in the region."
Two rival gangs, La Línea — which is linked to the Juaréz cartel — and Los Chapos — a part of the Sinaloa cartel — have been fighting over the northern state of Sonora, and it's not unheard of for civilians to be caught in the crossfire. But, as The New York Times reports, this particular community has been targeted by cartels before.
President Donald Trump said on Twitter the U.S. "stands ready, willing and able" to help combat the cartel violence. According to CNN, the FBI has offered to help Mexican authorities. But President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said his country will pursue the criminals with "independence and sovereignty."
Sonora's governor said on Twitter that she will make sure this attack does not go unpunished and that those responsible will pay for it.
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.