Church releases statement following shooting in Mexico

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This combination of frames from Nov. 4 video by Kenny Miller and posted on the Twitter account of Alex LeBaron shows two views of a burned-out vehicle that was being used by some members of the LeBaron family as they were driving in a convoy near the Sonora-Chihuahua border in Mexico. Mexican authorities say drug cartel gunmen ambushed multiple vehicles on Monday, including this one, slaughtering several women and children. (Kenny Miller/Courtesy of Alex LeBaron via AP)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement Tuesday afternoon regarding the shooting of six children and three women in Sonora, Mexico on Monday.

The women and children were members of the LeBaron family and lived in La Mora, Sonora, a town founded decades ago by early members of the Church. The family held dual citizenship in the U.S. and Mexico.

In the statement, Church spokesman Eric Hawkins expressed the faith’s condolences to the family and clarified that the family members — which have been identified as Mormons by some media outlets — are not members of the Church headquartered in Salt Lake City.

“We are heartbroken to hear of the tragedy that has touched these families in Mexico. Though it is our understanding that they are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, our love, prayers and sympathies are with them as they mourn and remember their loved ones,” Hawkins said.

Mexican authorities in the state of Sonora are still investigating whether or not the shooting, which was committed by a cartel gunman, was a case of mistaken identity or if the family was specifically targeted.

Authorities did confirm that nine women and children were killed in the shooting.

Map locates the site of the cartel killings of at least nine US citizens in the Mexican state of Sonora. (Via AP)

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