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Three missionaries, including an American couple, killed by a gang in Haiti



CNN

Three missionaries, including a married couple from the United States, were killed Thursday evening in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince.

Davy and Natalie Lloyd “were attacked by gangs this evening and were both killed,” Natalie Lloyd’s father, Missouri State Rep. Ben Baker, said in a Facebook post. “They went to heaven together.”

Mission director Jude Montis, 45, was also killed. All three worked for Missions in Haiti, Inc., which has been run by Davy Lloyd’s parents for more than two decades, according to the group’s website.

Davy Lloyd, 23, had a “love for Haiti,” his father David Lloyd told CNN. “His mother tongue was Creole. He told us when he was little that one day he would be a missionary in Haiti.

He and Natalie Lloyd, 21, were ambushed as they left church in Port-au-Prince on Thursday evening, according to David Lloyd.

American missionaries Davy and Natalie Lloyd were killed in Haiti on Thursday, May 23, family members said.

“Davy was taken home, tied up and beaten. The gang then took our trucks and loaded everything they wanted and left,” said a post on the Missions in Haiti Facebook page.

Three hours later, the organization published that the three missionaries “were shot dead by the gang around 9 p.m. this evening. We are all devastated.

“Please pray for my family, we desperately need strength. And please pray for the Lloyd family as well,” Baker said on social media Friday morning. “I have no other words right now.”

Local Haitian Emergency Response Operations (HERO) helped coordinate and manage the operation to recover the bodies and transport the remains of the American couple to a hospital morgue.

David Lloyd told CNN he was on the phone with his son during the attacks.

The mission and church across the street have two security guards, but when the 23-year-old came out of the church around 6 p.m., “three vans full of armed guys immediately overwhelmed them,” he said. -he declares.

The gunmen dragged Davy Lloyd to the house, tied him up and began looting the compound, according to his father, who said children from the orphanage were in the compound at the time- there.

After the gang left with their loot, Davy Lloyd called his father.

“He was hurt, and he was hurt. He was nervous and very, very scared,” David Lloyd said. “He was begging me to find someone to come in and help him, and I did everything I could but I couldn’t find anyone.”

Then more armed men arrived, he said.

“He told me, ‘I have to go down, something else is going on. I have to go see what it is,” remembers David Lloyd. “It was basically our last call.”

At that point, someone shot one of the newly arrived gang members, sparking a violent reaction, he said.

“Davy entered and barricaded himself in my personal home with his wife and (mission director) Jude Montis. The gang shot at that place until they broke down the door, shot them and set Davy and Jude on fire.

HERO, the ambulance service, confirmed to CNN that Davy Lloyd’s body was found burned at the scene.

Haitian police will work with international law enforcement to investigate the killings, police spokesman Gary Desrosiers told CNN on Friday.

“This is an open investigation but we are confident that we will arrest those involved. For now, we are working to protect the public and the community while actively searching for the perpetrators,” he said.

This photo provided by Brad Searcy Photography shows Davy and Natalie Lloyd.

On the Missions in Haiti website, Davy Lloyd can be seen talking about his childhood in the Caribbean country and his manual labor on the mission grounds. He had previously survived a kidnapping in Port-au-Prince in 2005, when he was just 5 years old, his father said.

According to a report that year by the Tulsa World newspaper, Davy Lloyd, his sister, and his adopted sister were kidnapped in a carjacking on their way home from school. But police were able to locate the kidnappers, rescue the children and quickly return them to their parents, the report said.

“We got them back 21 hours later,” remembers David Lloyd.

In a statement to CNN on Friday, the White House said it was aware of the reports and expressed its condolences while calling for the accelerated deployment of an international police force approved by the UN Security Council in the region.

“We are aware of reports of deaths of American citizens in Haiti. Our thoughts are with the families of those killed as they experience unimaginable grief,” a national security spokesperson told CNN.

“The security situation in Haiti cannot wait. This is why yesterday, President Biden reiterated our commitment to supporting the accelerated deployment of the Multinational Security Support Mission (MSS) to strengthen the capacities of the Haitian National Police to protect civilians, restore the rule of law and pave the way for democratic governance. »

Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson also mourned the couple’s loss Friday morning, calling it “absolutely heartbreaking news.”

Until now, the area around the Haiti Missions complex appeared largely safe despite violence in the rest of the city, according to David Lloyd, who was in the country until a few days ago.

“We didn’t really hear any gunshots in any of this. Our school is open, the church is functioning, the bakery sells bread every day,” he said.

When flights resumed last week to Port-au-Prince’s Toussaint Louverture International Airport, Lloyd said he asked his son and daughter-in-law if they wanted to leave Haiti, but they declined.

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“We know that Haiti is a very unstable situation, we know that it is dangerous,” he said. “But we had good relationships with the groups in our area and they left us alone. But from what I understand, it was an outside group that initially came from about a mile away, that started it all.

He believes the initial gang attack was simply intended as a robbery, with the gangs trying to take what they could before the multinational UN security support mission arrived.

“We have a pretty big mission complex, with a lot of stuff. With the international military force expected to arrive any day now, I think the gangs are trying to get whatever they can because they realize their time may be coming to an end,” did he declare.

At a joint news conference with Kenyan President William Ruto on Thursday, Biden defended the decision not to deploy U.S. troops to Haiti, telling reporters it could raise “all kinds of questions that can easily be distorted by this what we’re trying to do.” and be able to be used by those who disagree with us and against the interests of Haiti and the United States,” while emphasizing the material support, including equipment and training, that the United States have already provided to deal with the crisis.

The Missions in Haiti Facebook feed told the story of increasingly dire conditions in the country this year. “Gangs are still fighting for more control and chaos,” the organization posted on April 23. “It seems that the world has turned its back on Haiti and will find itself under the total control of the gangs. »

This story and headline have been updated with additional details.

CNN’s Donald Judd contributed to this report.

News Source : www.cnn.com
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