A 13-year-old boy who witnessed his mother and two of his brothers being killed in an ambush by drug cartel gunman hid his six other siblings in bushes, it has emerged.
Devin Blake Langford was one of the few uninjured people in the attack in northern Mexico on a convoy of three cars in which nine US Mormons, including three women, four boys and two girls, died.
Devin quickly took charge, covering his siblings with branches to keep them safe while he went for help.
He eventually walked for about 14 miles, arriving six hours later in the tiny hamlet of La Mora where he lived and broke the news of the ambush.
The account was posted on social media by relative Kendra Lee Miller, who said when he took too long to return to his six siblings, his six-year-old sister Mckenzie Rayne Langford left the others to try to get help.
Mckenzie, who suffered a graze on her arm in the attack, walked for some time in the dark before she was found several hours after the other children were rescued.
In total, eight children survived despite most of them being shot.
In the same vehicle as Devin before the attack was another relative, Christina Marie Langford Johnson and her baby Faith.
When the gunmen started firing, Christina Johnson jumped out of the car waving her arms to let the attackers know that it was women and children inside and they were not a threat.
She may have moved away from the vehicle to distract their attention as her body was found about 15 metres (49ft) from the SUV.
Fortunately she had placed Faith in a car seat on the vehicle’s floor for protection and she was unharmed despite the car being riddled with bullets.
Devin’s mother Dawna Langford and two of her sons were also killed by the gunmen.
The victims were identified by Kendra Lee Miller as Christina Marie Langford Johnson, 29; Dawna Langford, 43; Trevor Langford, 11, and two-and-a-half year old Rogan Langford.
Others killed were Rhonita Miller, 30; Howard Miller, 12; Krystal Miller, 10; and eight-month-old twins Titus and Tiana Miller. The five were all shot and burned in their vehicle.
In total, gunmen ambushed three SUVs along a dirt road in an attack that left one vehicle completely burned out.
Around the scene, which stretched for miles, investigators found more than 200 spent shell casings, mostly from assault rifles.
Mexican officials said the perpetrators may have mistaken the group’s large SUVs for those of a rival gang amid a vicious turf war.
The killers were apparently members of the Juarez drug cartel and its armed wing, La Linea – The Line – whose gunmen had entered Sinaloa cartel territory and set up an armed outpost on a hilltop and an ambush further up the road.
The Juarez cartel apparently wanted to send a message that it controlled the road into Chihuahua. It was this group that the American mothers and their three vehicles drove into.
US President Donald Trump called on his Mexican counterpart to tackle drug cartels in the region.
Mexican officials said extra federal and local security forces have been deployed.
The victims lived in La Mora in Sonora state, about 70 miles south of Douglas, Arizona.