A 13-year-old boy who survived a deadly ambush on his family last week in Mexico is speaking publicly for the first time. In an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Devin Langford described the terrifying moments gunmen attacked the car his mother was driving.
“They just started hitting [the] car first, like with a bunch, a bunch of bullets. Just start shooting rapidly at us,” he told ABC. “The car didn’t work. So she was just trying right there, starting the car as much as she could, but I’m pretty sure they shot something so the car wouldn’t even start.”
Devin’s mother, Dawna Langford, and his brothers, 11-year-old Trevor and 2-year-old Rogan, were among the nine women and children killed in the ambush last Monday in the Mexican state of Sonora. Authorities suspect Mexican drug cartel hitmen carried out the attack.
Devin said the last thing his mother told him before she was shot was: “Get down right now.”
After his mother and two brothers were killed, Devin was able to hide six other siblings in nearby bushes, covering them with branches. He then walked 14 miles for help. His 9-year-old sister, McKenzie, was grazed in the arm. She walked for four hours in the dark before finally finding rescuers.
On Sunday, Devin’s father, David Langford, told ABC’s “World News Tonight” that “my whole life has turned upside down. Not only have I lost a wife and two children, but I’m having to move the rest of my family with really no place to go at this point.”
The attack occurred as the women traveled with their children to visit relatives. Eight children, some mere infants, survived the ambush.
The families are part of a community that traces its origins to the end of polygamy more than a century ago by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, forcing Mormon families in the U.S. with multiple wives to establish offshoots elsewhere. The families had lived in two hamlets in Mexico’s Sonora state: La Mora and Colonia LeBaron.
David Langford said his son Devin was a hero because after the shootings he hid his siblings in the forest and walked 14 miles to a hamlet to get help.
“To be honest with you, my boy’s a hero simply because he gave his life for his brothers and sisters,” he told ABC News.
“Every one of my children that survived that are living miracles,” Langford added. “How many bullet holes were fired into that vehicle, at that horrific scene, and how many children were involved. It’s amazing. It’s amazing. It’s beyond amazing that they survived.”
He said he wants the attackers to face justice.
“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,” he said.
Langford said he and much of his family are leaving Mexico. Other residents of the hamlets plan to depart in the coming days, leaving the community their families have called home since the 1950s.
“It’s not worth living in fear,” he told ABC. “The toughest part for me was saying goodbye. saying goodbye to two innocent lives that were cut short and a vibrant wife that lived a life to its fullest that had many friends and was loved by all by everybody.”