US missionary couple killed by gangs in Haiti

Davy and Natalie Lloyd were leaving a church with a group of children when they were ambushed, religious group says

It was not immediately clear which gang or gangs were responsible for the shootings. Reuters
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An American missionary couple have been killed by gang members in Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince after they were abducted while leaving a local church.

Davy and Natalie Lloyd “were attacked by gangs this evening and were both killed”, Ms Lloyd’s father, Missouri state representative Ben Baker, said in a Facebook post.

“They went to heaven together.”

A third person also was killed during the attack, which occurred on Thursday evening in the community of Lizon, Lionel Lazarre, head of a Haitian police union, told the Associated Press on Friday. The name of the third person killed wasn’t immediately available.

The Lloyds were married in 2022, according to Mr Baker’s social media, and worked for Missions in Haiti, Inc, based in Claremore, Oklahoma, which has been operated by Mr Lloyd’s parents for more than two decades, according to the group’s website.

The mission runs a school in Lizon for more than 240 students that it opened in September 2008, according to its website.

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

A Facebook posting on the Missions for Haiti page late on Thursday stated that the Lloyds and a group of children were “ambushed by a gang of three trucks full of guys” before being taken to a house and shot.

It was not immediately clear which gang or gangs were responsible for the shootings.

However, a gang leader called Chyen Mechan – “mean dog” in Haitian Creole – controls the area where the shooting occurred, and the leader of another gang known as General Jeff also controls territory near the neighbourhood where the couple were killed, according to AP.

Both gangs are part of a coalition known as Viv Ansanm, which means “Live Together.”

The coalition is responsible for launching large-scale attacks on key government infrastructure starting at the end of February.

Gunmen have attacked police stations, opened fire on the main international airport that remained closed for nearly three months before opening earlier this week, and stormed Haiti’s two biggest prisons, releasing more than 4,000 inmates.

Gangs also are blamed for killing or injuring more than 2,500 people across Haiti from January to March, a 50 per cent increase compared with the same period last year, according to the UN.

Kidnappings also are rampant, with previous targets including American missionaries.

The Department of State has long had a “do not travel” advisory for Haiti and urges any US citizens in the country to depart as soon as possible.

Updated: May 24, 2024, 7:18 PM