David Lloyd III, Natalie Lloyd, Jude Montis

Top line

Three people working for an Oklahoma-based missionary group, including a young American couple and a Haiti-based staff member, were shot to death after being ambushed by gang members near Port-au-Prince on Thursday, the group confirmed in a statement. series. of social media posts, as Haiti battles intense gang violence.

Key facts

The three victims were identified as David “Davy” Lloyd III, Natalie Lloyd and Jude Montis of the group Missions In Haiti Inc., according to several media outlets.

David Lloyd, 23, was the son of the group’s founders: He grew up in Haiti, went to the United States to attend a Pentecostal school in Missouri and then returned to the country, his mother Alicia Lloyd told the New York Times.

Natalie Lloyd, Davy’s wife of 21 years, joined the organization in August 2022 after the couple married in June, according to her social media, and was the daughter of Missouri state Rep. Ben Baker, who said in Facebook that the couple were “full-time missionaries” in the country.

Jude Montis, the group’s 45-year-old Haitian director, was a pastor with a wife and two young children who worked for the group for two decades, David Lloyd’s father told the Times.

The three were shot to death by gang members after leaving a youth group activity organized at a local church, according to multiple posts on the group’s Facebook page, and the Associated Press reported that they were located around Haiti’s capital city, Prince Port.

Baker confirmed the deaths of his daughter and son-in-law in a Friday post on Facebook, in which he said, “My heart is broken into a thousand pieces,” and later confirmed that their bodies were transported to the U.S. Embassy.

Representatives from the State Department and Missions for Haiti did not immediately respond to Forbes’ requests for comment.

Tangent

News of the missionaries’ deaths sparked an outpouring of condolences on social media, including from Missouri Gov. Mike Parsons on X and former President Donald Trump, who posted on Truth Social on Friday, saying, “God bless to Davy and Natalie. What a tragedy. Haiti is totally out of control. Find the killers NOW!!!”

Key background

Missions in Haiti, Inc. runs several ministries throughout the country, including a school and children’s home in the Bon Repos neighborhood, located on the outskirts of the capital city and controlled by two local gangs. Violence in Haiti has increased in recent months, fueled in part by mass prison breaks by the G9 Family and Allies gang alliance, led by former police officer Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier, which freed nearly 4,000 inmates. in March. Cherizier claimed responsibility for the leaks and the group, which reportedly controls about 80% of Port-au-Prince, called for the resignation of Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who eventually resigned in mid-March. The State Department issued a travel advisory last July, urging U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to the country amid “kidnappings, crime, civil unrest, and poor health care infrastructure.” Some powerful Haitian gangs came together to form the G9 Family and Allies following the 2021 assassination of then-president Jovenel Moise.

big number

Around 2,500. That’s the number of people killed or injured by gang violence in Haiti during the first quarter of 2024 amid rampant gang violence, according to the United Nations.

Other readings

Young American missionary couple among three killed by gunmen in Haiti’s capital, police say (The Associated Press)

Here’s what you need to know about Haiti’s gang crisis, as the United States prepares for a possible influx of refugees (Forbes)

Who are the G9 family? Alliance of armed gangs led by Jimmy ‘Barbecue’ Chérizier terrorizes Haiti after escape (Forbes)

American YouTuber allegedly kidnapped in Haiti: what we know about his disappearance (Forbes)