Ambush in north Mexico rattles Douglas residents

Douglas residents respond to ambush on American family

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Inside a Douglas meat market, Enrique Pro spends his day behind the counter.

He’s worked at the store for nine years and greets each customer with a smile. They’re his fellow community members in a place he’s called home for a number of years.

"We're a very peaceful town," Pro said.

But with each day that passes, the thoughts of what happens on the other side of the border fence cross his mind.

"We used to go there on a weekly basis, even a daily basis," he said. "Now we don't even think about walking."

These types of thoughts come two days after gunshots erupted in Agua Prieta and a day after nine American citizens — all women and children traveling from the small community of La Mora — were killed in ambush attack believed to be done by the Mexican cartels, only hours away.

“It doesn’t help business,” Pro said. “It affects both sides of the border.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigations is assisting in investigating this case.

“The FBI continues to engage with our US government and Mexican law enforcement partners. We have offered assistance and stand ready to assist in the wake of this tragedy,” officials said in a statement.

Early Tuesday morning, all of the remaining survivors were taken to the Douglas port of entry, met by first responders in the border town and taken to Tucson hospitals for treatment. All of the survivors are children.

“Anyone would help a child in need,” said Lt. Mark Wilkinson, a spokesperson with the Douglas Police Department.

That family mentality is one that runs strong for Wilkinson.

He spoke for all local agencies and as a father himself.

"Of course, as a parent you think of your own during something like that," Wilkinson said.

Those same sentiments are shared by Pro, too.

"It hurts me as a human being," Pro said. "You don't kill kids like that."

Douglas Mayor Robert Uribe released a statement on his Facebook page regarding the attack :

“You may have heard the national news this morning on a family ambushed in car in Mexico, it was our first responders who took care of them. DP Chief Fullen has provided this information on the family: 5 were kids who were rescued, ages 10 months, 4, 7, 9, 14 year olds. Incident occurred at 0900 hrs yesterday three families, three mothers and 14 children on their way to Chihuahua to visit family mistaken in identity and ambushed. Four flown from the Douglas airport and the fifth transported by ground from the ED. Thank you to our #DouglasAZ first responders. Prayers to the family! My heart aches for the them.”

A federal travel advisory for the state of Sonora is listed at a Level 3 right now, which encourages travelers to reconsider their plans.

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