A heroic mum had already been shot multiple times when she turned around and saved her baby daughter during the massacre of a Mormon family in Mexico.
New details of Christina Langford Johnson's dying act of bravery emerged before she was laid to rest following the slaughter of nine members of the LeBaron community.
The 29-year-old mum was shot by suspected drug cartel gunmen when she got out of her SUV and raised her arms in the air to show that she was unarmed and did not pose a threat.
After being fatally wounded in a hail of gunfire, she turned and protected her seven-month-old daughter, Faith, who was miraculously found unharmed in the bullet-riddled vehicle more than 12 hours later.
Bullets "just missed" the infant, who was found strapped into her car seat as her mother lay dead nearby in a massacre that family have called a "terrorist act".
Faith was later reunited with her grieving father, Tyler, who was pictured with a wide smile as he cuddled her on a sofa. He was away working in North Dakota at the time of the massacre in which the gunmen fired more than 200 bullets.
Mrs Johnson's last act is one of several tales of courage and heroism to emerge after she and eight relatives were killed in an attack just 70 miles south of the US border.
Relatives said she was shot in the chest when she tried to identify herself as an innocent woman and then hid Faith in a desperate bid to save her life.
Family member Austin Cloes, who lives in Utah, paid tribute to the mum on Facebook , writing: "What does courage look like?
"This mother, Cristina Langford Johnson, amid a hailstorm of evil and bullets, jumped out of her vehicle to identify herself and her family as innocent women and children.
"The gunfire continued.
"After being shot multiple times, in only a mother’s grace, she turned to protect her infant child located in a rear car seat.
"Ultimately, she gave her own life to save the life of her baby daughter."
Relatives said Mrs Johnson – who is being laid to rest on Saturday – threw a blanket over Faith to prevent the gunmen from seeing her in the back of the SUV.
Three mothers and six children were killed in the attack blamed on a ruthless drug cartel.
The victims – dual US-Mexico nationals – were travelling in three separate SUVs when they were ambushed at three diferrent locations.
Mexican officials said the family members may have been mistaken for a rival cartel, but members of the LeBaron community are convinced they were targeted.
The Mormon settlement has been outspoken against crime in the state of Sonora in northern Mexico and has had run-ins with cartels in the past.
Family members have been murdered and abducted in the past.
It is claimed the community was recently threatened by cartels over where it can travel.
Mum Rhonita Miller, 30, and four of her children – Howard Miller, 12, Krystal Miller, 10, and eight-month-old twins Titus and Tiana – died when their SUV was sprayed with bullets and burst into flames.
A family member found their charred bodies after seeing an explosion in the distance.
Mum Dawna Langford, 43, was travelling in a vehicle with nine of her kids.
She died along with her sons Trevor, 11, and Rogan, two. The other seven children survived, five of them with gunshot wounds.
Mrs Johnson and Faith were alone in a third SUV when they were attacked on a remote road.
The LeBaron family has praised Mrs Langford's son Devin, 13, who walked 14 miles to the Mormon community of La Mora after witnessing the massacre of his mother and two of his younger siblings.
Before he raised the alarm, the boy hid his siblings, including one who was shot in the face, under a tree.
It took him six hours to walk back to the community.
His wounded nine-year-old sister, McKenzie, went to look for help when he didn't return swiftly and was later found lost in the mountainous and forested area.
Funerals for Mrs Langford and her children and Mrs Miller and her children were held on Thursday and Friday.
Mrs Johnson's funeral will take place on Saturday.
On Friday, family members visited the three scenes in a convoy of vehicles. As they examined the site where Mrs Johnson was shot dead they found shell casings from the attack.
As heavily-armed soldiers guard La Mora, the isolated Mormon community, which settled in the region decades ago after leaving Utah, has demanded justice and called for a tough response from the Mexican and US governments.
US President Donald Trump urged Mexico and the US to "wage war" together on drug cartels, but President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has rejected the notion of outside intervention.
On Friday, he said the investigation was continuing without releasing any new details. The Mexican authorities do not have any suspects in custody.
A possible suspect, who was arrested in a border town with two bound hostages earlier in the week, was released.
The LeBarons are a breakaway community of the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and now have more than 5,000 members in Mexico and the US.
A GoFundMe set up to support the victims' relatives has raised more than $160,000 (£125,000).
Source: Read Full Article