Missionary couple from US killed in Haiti gang violence

A young American couple doing missionary work in Haiti died Thursday night after being attacked by gangs, family members said.

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Ben Baker, a Missouri state representative, confirmed the deaths of his daughter, Natalie Lloyd, and his son-in-law, Davy Lloyd, in a post on social media.

“My heart is broken in a thousand pieces. I’ve never felt this kind of pain,” he wrote.

“They went to Heaven together,” he added. “Please pray for my family we desperately need strength. And please pray for the Lloyd family as well. I have no other words for now.”

Travis McCrate, Davy Lloyd’s uncle, told KRMG that his family has spent more than 30 years doing missionary work in Haiti and that they ran an orphanage. He said he believes the building was burned down after Thursday’s violence.

“At some point something happened that turned it deadly and turned it violent,” McCrate told KRMG. “In a situation like this there’s no one left to tell us exactly what happened.”

Jude Montis, a longtime worker at the orphanage, was also killed in the attack, the radio station reported.

Davy Lloyd’s parents, David and Alicia Lloyd, founded the Oklahoma-based Missions in Haiti in 2000 to help children in the country, according to the group’s website and KRMG.

Missions in Haiti shared updates on social media, saying Thursday that Davy and Natalie Lloyd “were ambushed after coming out of Youth at the church” with a group of kids. They said Davy Lloyd was beaten and several items stolen before gang members left, only for another gang to arrive later. Gunfire erupted at some point, and one person was killed, they said, adding that the gang “has shot all the windows out of the house and continue to shoot.”

In an update posted three hours later, the group said, “Davy and Natalie and Jude were shot and killed by the gang about 9 o’clock this evening. We all are devastated.”

The attack happened in the community of Lizon in northern Port-au-Prince, Lionel Lazarre, head of a Haitian police union, told The Associated Press. Missions in Haiti runs a church in Lizon as well as a school for more than 240 students, according to its website.

It was not immediately clear what gang or gangs might have been responsible for the shooting. In a statement obtained by CNN, the White House shared condolences and called for officials to deploy a UN Security Council-approved international police force to the region.

“Our hearts go out to the families of those killed as they experience unimaginable grief,” a national security spokesperson told the news network. “The security situation in Haiti cannot wait.”

Haiti has grappled with rising gang warfare since the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. In 2023, gang violence left 4,451 dead and injured 1,668 others, according to the UN Human Rights Office. From January to March, the violence claimed 1,554 lives and left 826 others injured, officials said.

The State Department has long urged Americans not to travel to Haiti, citing “kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and poor health care infrastructure.”

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