LAMBEAU, Haiti – A missionary couple from the United States and a Haitian man were fatally shot in Lambeau, Haiti, as gang violence continues to escalate in the country. Natalie Lloyd, 21, and her 23-year-old husband David, along with 20-year-old Jude Montis, were ambushed by gunmen outside a church. The tragic deaths were confirmed by Natalie’s father, Missouri State Senator Ben Baker, via a heartfelt Facebook post. “They were attacked by gangs this evening and were both killed,” he wrote. “They went to heaven together.”

The couple, who tied the knot last year, were part of an organization called Missions in Haiti that provides humanitarian aid. The organization stated that Mr. Montis was the third victim in the incident. According to a Facebook post from the organization, the three individuals were attacked by two separate armed groups. The first attack occurred when gunmen in three vehicles opened fire. Subsequently, another group arrived, resulting in a gang member being shot dead. As a result, the missionaries sought refuge in a house, but the gang continued their assault, shooting out all the windows.

Three hours later, Missions in Haiti officially confirmed the deaths of the three individuals. The United States State Department has acknowledged the tragic incident and expressed condolences to the family. A spokesperson from the department stated, “We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance.” Missouri Governor Mike Parson expressed his heartfelt sadness over the deaths on Twitter, calling the news “absolutely heart-breaking.”

The National Security Council emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating that President Joe Biden has pledged support for the “expedited deployment” of the force in discussions with Kenya’s president. Kenya’s President William Ruto expressed the need for international intervention, explaining that the decision to deploy forces was made to prevent further loss of life to gangs.

This tragic incident is not the first involving missionaries in Haiti. In 2021, 17 North American missionaries were kidnapped and held captive. While five were released, the remaining 12 managed to escape.

The situation in the country remains dire, with urgent action needed to address the escalating violence and instability.

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