An 18-vehicle caravan carrying about 100 members of an offshoot Mormon community leaving their homes in Mexico after a violent attack arrived in Arizona on Saturday. The families came nearly a week after the attack Monday in which nine women and children were killed by what authorities said were hit men from drug cartels. On Saturday, families went in and out of a gas station in Douglas near the port of entry as the sun began to set, the Arizona Daily Star reported. They filled up gas tanks, put air in their tires, and got food before getting back on the road to Tucson and Phoenix, reports the AP. Their trucks were loaded with boxes, bicycles, spare tires and bags, all their belongings packed as they left the communities in Mexico that their families have called home since the 1950s.
Bryce Langford, whose mother was killed, said the community has learned more about cartel hit men in the area in recent months, and people had been considering moving. After Monday's ambush, they decided it was something they had to do. Most families are traveling to Phoenix, and others are heading to Tucson. They are not sure where they will settle in the long term. Leah Langford-Staddon told the AP that her mother and sister, Amy, came to Arizona with as many belongings as they could pack in their vehicles. She said those leaving plan to scatter among different relatives, for now, but would love to eventually settle together in a new place. "They spent the whole day yesterday packing. It was frantic," she said by phone from Tucson, where she is standing watch at a hospital that is treating five children wounded in the attack. But, "when it comes down to it, it's just things that can be replaced."
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