At least nine dual US-Mexican citizens, including six children and three women, were shot to death on Monday, Nov. 4, near Rancho La Mora on the border between Sonora and Chihuahua—a shooting attack that relatives suspect might have been a case of mistaken identity by drug cartel gunmen.

Alfonso Durazo, Mexico’s top security official, confirmed the six deaths, adding that six more children were wounded in the attack, with five transferred to hospitals in Phoenix, Arizona, FOX News reported

The attack happened when the mothers were driving from Bavispe to a wedding in LeBaron, another Mormon community in the state of Chihuahua when their three vehicles loaded with children were attacked by gunfire, causing one of the vehicles to explode into flames, according to USA TODAY

Relatives Leah Staddon and Julián LeBaron identified the victim on their Facebook page:

Among those killed were Rhonita Maria Miller, 33, and her four children Howard, 12, Krystal 10, and 8-month-old babies Titus and Tiana. Her burned-out bullet-ridden SUV was reportedly found outside the town of Bavispe, where the settlement is located.

Dawna Ray Langford, 43, was traveling in a second vehicle with nine children. Two of her children Trevor and Rogan, ages 11 and 2, were also killed. 

Christina Marie Langford Johnson, 31, was traveling in a third vehicle with her 7-month-old baby,  Faith Johnson, who was found alive inside the vehicle later, seemingly put on the floor by her mother, unharmed.

Several other children survived the attack.

Staddon said the three families belonged to a Mormon ranching community that has lived in the Bavispe for more than 40 years.

President Donald Trump tweeted about the attack on Tuesday morning, Nov. 5, offering the Mexican president U.S. help “to wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth.”

Security Minister Alfonso Durazo said the attack could have been a case of mistaken identity of “conflicting groups in the area.”

The investigation involved municipal and state police, the state attorney general’s office, the army, and the National Guard, which had launched an air and land operation in the area where the incident occurred, according to a written statement provided to The Arizona Republic.

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