Three missionaries, including American couple, killed by gang in Haiti | CNN (2024)

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

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.”

“Please pray for my family we desperately need strength. And please pray for the Lloyd family as well,” Baker said.

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

Davy Lloyd, 23, had a “love for Haiti,” his father David Lloyd told CNN. “His first language was Creole. He used to tell us when he was little that someday he was going to 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.

Three missionaries, including American couple, killed by gang in Haiti | CNN (1)

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

“Davy was taken to the house tied up and beat. The gang then took our trucks and loaded everything up they wanted and left,” a post on Missions in Haiti’sFacebook page said.

Three hours later, the organizationpostedthat the three missionaries “were shot and killed by the gang about 9 o’clock this evening. We all aredevastated.”

It’s still unclear how exactly the missionaries were killed. The investigation into the killings is ongoing, and Haitian police have not yet released any details on them.

Local emergency response service Haitian Emergency Response Operations (HERO) assisted in coordinating and managing the operation to retrieve the bodies and transport the remains of the American couple to a hospital morgue.

“Currently, we are working to retrieve the bodies of Natalie and Davy,” Baker said on social media Friday night, adding that the effort will involve obtaining a waiver. “After that, we have to find an airline that will be willing to do the transport. Prayers that this will all go smoothly.”

He remembered the couple as people who put others before themselves, telling CNN Friday evening that he commends their bravery.

“I don’t think you can find a better example of people who truly had a deep love for the people of Haiti and had a vision to help them in anyway that they could and made such an impact there among the different ministries they were involved in,” Baker told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins on “The Source.”

‘Our last call’

David Lloyd told CNN that 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 pick-up trucks full of guys with guns overwhelmed them immediately,” he said.

The armed men dragged Davy Lloyd to the house, tied him up, and started looting the compound, according to his father, who said children from the orphanage were in the compound at the time.

After the gang left with its haul, Davy Lloyd called his father.

“He was injured, and he was hurt. He was nervous, and very very scared,” David Lloyd said. “He was begging me to find someone to get in there and help him, and I did all I could but I couldn’t locate anybody.”

Then more armed men arrived, he said.

“He told me, ‘I have to go down, something else is going down. I gotta go see what it is,’” David Lloyd recalled. “That was basically our last call.”

Around that time, someone shot one of the newly arrived gang members, sparking a violent backlash, he said.

“Davy went in and barricaded himself in my personal home with his wife and (mission director) Jude Montis. The gang shot that place up until they got the door busted down and 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 spokesperson Gary Desrosiers told CNN on Friday.

“This is an open investigation but we are sure we will arrest those involved. For now, we’re working on protecting the public and the community while actively searching for the perpetrators,” he said.

Three missionaries, including American couple, killed by gang in Haiti | CNN (2)

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

On Missions in Haiti’s website, Davy Lloyd can be seen talking about growing up in the Caribbean nation and doing manual labor on the mission compound. He 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 foster sister were abducted 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, according to the report.

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

‘The security situation in Haiti cannot wait’

In a statement to CNN Friday, the White House said it was aware of the reports and expressed condolences while urging for the expedited deployment of UN Security Council-approved international police force to the region.

“We are aware of the reports of the deaths of U.S. citizens in Haiti.Our hearts go out to the families of those killed as they experience unimaginable grief,” a national security spokesperson told CNN.

“The security situation in Haiti cannot wait. That is why yesterday, President Biden reiterated our commitment to support the expedited the deployment of the Multinational Security Support (MSS) Mission to bolster the Haitian National Police’s capabilities to protect civilians, restore the rule of law, and pave the way to democratic governance.”

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

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

“We haven’t really heard any gunshots in any of this. Our school’s been open, the church has been functioning, the bakery’s been selling 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 would like to leave Haiti, but they declined.

Three missionaries, including American couple, killed by gang in Haiti | CNN (3)

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

Natalie Lloyd’s father told CNN the couple didn’t leave even when they had the opportunity to do so because of the children they were taking care of.

“They made the decision to remain even when it got worse because they felt like if they left, then those kids would have no where to go,” Baker said on “The Source.”

He believes the initial gang attack was just intended as a robbery, with the gangs trying to take what they can before the UN’s Multinational Security Support mission arrives.

“We have a pretty large mission compound, lots of stuff. With the international military force that’s supposed to be coming in any day, I think the gangs are trying to get all they can get because they realize their times may be coming to an end,” he said.

In a joint news conference with Kenyan President William Ruto on Thursday, Biden defended the decision not to deploy US troops to Haiti, telling reporters doing socould raise “all kinds of questions that can be easily misrepresented by 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 pointing to material support, including equipment and training, the US has already provided to address the crisis.

The Facebook feed ofMissions in Haitihas told the story of the increasing dire conditions in the country this year. “The gangs are still fighting for more control and chaos rules,” the organizationpostedApril 23. “It seems the world has turned their backs on Haiti and it is going to be left in complete gang control.”

This story and headline have been updated with additional details.

CNN’s Donald Judd and Kaanita Iyer contributed to this report.

Three missionaries, including American couple, killed by gang in Haiti | CNN (2024)

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