American missionary couple killed in Haiti, agency says

Two American Christian missionaries were killed by gang violence in Haiti on Thursday, said Missouri State Rep. Ben Baker, whose daughter, Natalie, died in the attack.

Davy and Natalie Lloyd, full-time missionaries to Haiti, were shot and killed at 9 p.m. Thursday, according to Missions In Haiti, Inc. Baker posted about the attack on Facebook.

“My heart is broken in a thousand pieces. I’ve never felt this kind of pain,” Baker wrote. “They went to Heaven together. Please pray for my family we desperately need strength. And please pray for the Lloyd family as well. I have no other words for now.”

Missions In Haiti is a nonprofit Christian ministry founded by David and Alicia Lloyd that has operated in the Caribbean nation since 2000, according to the group’s website. The couple’s son, Davy, and his wife, Natalie Lloyd (Baker), joined the mission after they were married in June 2022, according to Natalie’s Instagram account. 

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According to the nonprofit, Davy, Natalie and several children were at a youth group gathering at church on Thursday when “they were ambushed by a gang of 3 trucks full of guys.” 

“Davy was taken to the house tied up and beat. The gang then took our trucks and loaded everything up they wanted and left,” Missions In Haiti said in a social media post. 

The group recounted that “another gang” went to the scene “to see what was going on and if they could help, so they say.” 

“No one understood what they were doing, not sure what took place but one was shot and killed and now this gang went into full attack mode,” Missions In Haiti said. 

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Davy, Natalie and another individual named Jude were in the house, communicating what was happening to Missions In Haiti via Starlink satellite internet. As they hid, the gangs began shooting at the house, according to Missions In Haiti.

Missions in Haiti lost contact with the missionaries. Hours later, they posted that Davy, Natalie and Jude were killed in the attack.

Missions in Haiti and Sen. Baker did not immediately respond to requests for additional information.

Former President Donald Trump weighed in on the tragedy, posting “God bless Davy and Natalie” on Truth Social.

“Such a tragedy. Haiti is totally out of control. Find the killers NOW!!!” Trump wrote. 

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Haiti, an island nation plagued by poverty, natural disasters and corruption, has plunged into further turmoil since Feb. 29, when gangs launched coordinated attacks, burned police stations, opened fire on the main international airport and stormed Haiti’s two biggest prisons, releasing more than 4,000 inmates. The country’s largest seaport also remains paralyzed as food, medication and other critical items dwindle.

At least 1.4 million Haitians are on the verge of famine, according to the U.N.’s World Food Program.

Gang leader Jimmy “Barbeque” Chérizier and his “G9 Families and Allies” claimed responsibility for the mass jailbreak and accompanying bloodbath, which left at least nine dead and forced the U.S. to issue urgent warnings to leave Haiti “as soon as possible.” More than 2,500 people have been killed or injured in Haiti from January to March, the Associated Press reported. 

“Barbeque” came to power after rival gang leaders Joly “Yonyon” Germine and Eliande Tunis were arrested in Florida and convicted for the October 2021-armed abduction and ransom of 16 U.S. citizens and one Canadian, including five children as young as eight months, during a missionary trip to an orphanage.

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President Biden’s administration has agreed to contribute $300 million to a multinational force that will include 1,000 police officers from Kenya who have been sent to Haiti to reestablish law and order.

“Haiti is in an area of the Caribbean that is a very volatile,” Biden said at a news conference with Kenyan President William Ruto on Thursday. “There’s a lot going on in this hemisphere. So we’re in a situation where we want to do all we can without us looking like America once again is stepping over and deciding this is what must be done.”

Haiti’s main international airport in Port-au-Prince reopened for the first time since March on Monday, though the seaport remains closed. Gangs control 80% of the capital, according to the AP.

The U.S. government has evacuated hundreds of citizens by helicopter who fled the violence, along with nonprofit groups operating in the besieged capital.

The U.S. in recent weeks has also flown military planes over Haiti and landed them at the Toussaint-Louverture airport to help prepare for the arrival of foreign troops. 

“I can tell you for sure that deployment will happen in the next few days, few weeks,” Kenya’s foreign affairs principal secretary, Korir Sing’oei, said on Sunday. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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