Tragic Attack in Haiti: U.S. Missionary Couple and Haitian Colleague Killed by Gangs

A U.S. missionary couple and a Haitian colleague were tragically killed by gang members in Port-au-Prince. The incident highlights the escalating gang violence that plagues the city, with gangs controlling 80% of Port-au-Prince.

U.S. Missionary Couple
A U.S. missionary couple killed by gang members in Haiti.

A U.S. missionary couple and a Haitian colleague were shot and killed by gang members in Haiti’s capital after leaving a youth group activity at a local church, a family member reported Friday.

The attack occurred Thursday evening in Lizon, a community in northern Port-au-Prince, according to Lionel Lazarre, head of a Haitian police union. The incident highlights the escalating gang violence that plagues the city, with gangs controlling 80% of Port-au-Prince. Authorities are awaiting a police force from Kenya, part of a U.N.-backed effort to curb the violence.

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The victims included a young married couple, Davy and Natalie Lloyd, as revealed in a Facebook post by Natalie Lloyd’s father, Missouri state Rep. Ben Baker. The third victim, Jude Montis, was the director of Missions In Haiti Inc.

“My heart is broken in a thousand pieces,” Baker wrote on Facebook. “Most of you know my daughter and son-in-law Davy and Natalie Lloyd are full-time missionaries in Haiti. They were attacked by gangs this evening and were both killed. They went to Heaven together.”

Davy Lloyd, 23, and Natalie Lloyd, 21, were set to celebrate their second wedding anniversary in June, and Davy’s birthday in early July, according to Davy’s sister, Hannah Cornett. Cornett said her family has deep roots in Haiti, with her parents running an orphanage, school, and church there.

“Davy spoke Creole before he spoke English. It was home,” she said. “Haiti was all we knew.” Cornett, 22, added that her brother was very outgoing, having built a garden and raised animals. After returning to the U.S. for Bible college and marrying Natalie, he went back to Haiti for more humanitarian work.

“They just had a lot of love for Haiti, and they just wanted to help the people there,” Cornett said. “That’s their calling.”

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Montis, who worked with Cornett’s parents for 20 years, left behind two children, ages 2 and 6. On the night of the attack, gang members stopped the Lloyds and Montis, hitting Davy Lloyd in the head with a gun barrel. They stole their belongings and left Davy tied up. As people were helping untie him, another group of gunmen arrived.

“Nobody knows what happened,” Cornett said. An unidentified person was shot, and the gunmen opened fire as the Lloyds and Montis fled to Cornett’s parents’ house. The gang shot up the house, killing the three victims and setting their bodies on fire.

Cornett’s mother had flown back from Haiti a month ago, and her father and younger brother left on Wednesday because the neighborhood had seemed calm.

“Nobody expected this to happen,” Cornett said through tears. On Friday, Baker posted on Facebook that the bodies of Davy and Natalie Lloyd had been safely transported to the U.S. Embassy.

The Lloyds worked for Missions In Haiti Inc., founded by Davy’s parents, David and Alicia Lloyd. Natalie Lloyd’s Facebook page indicated they married on June 18, 2022, and she began working with the missionary organization in August 2022.

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A Facebook post on the Missions In Haiti page late Thursday stated: “Around midnight: Davy and Natalie and Jude were shot and killed by the gang about 9 o’clock this evening. We all are devastated.”

Alicia Lloyd, Davy’s mother, told the Claremore Daily Progress newspaper that her son “was one of these people who could do anything.”

“I hope something good can come out of this. We don’t see it now, but we don’t want their lives to be in vain,” she said.

U.S. Department of State spokesman Matthew Miller expressed condolences and emphasized the urgency of addressing Haiti’s security situation.

The gang responsible for the killings has not been identified. However, the area is controlled by a gang leader known as Chyen Mechan (real name Claudy Célestin) and another leader, General Jeff. Both are part of the coalition Viv Ansanm, responsible for recent large-scale attacks on government infrastructure.

Gangs are blamed for over 2,500 deaths and injuries in Haiti from January to March, a 50% increase from the same period last year, according to the U.N. Additionally, more than 360,000 people have been displaced by gang violence, which also includes rampant kidnappings.

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In October 2021, gang members kidnapped 17 missionaries, mostly U.S. citizens, and in July 2023, a U.S. nurse and her daughter were kidnapped near Port-au-Prince. The U.S. Department of State has a “do not travel” advisory for Haiti and urges U.S. citizens there to leave immediately.

Missions In Haiti Inc., founded in 2000, focuses on helping Haitian children. A May 2023 newsletter noted that Natalie had been assisting with children at the House of Compassion and helping at the ACE school, while Davy worked on essential projects, including building a laundry room and repairing bathrooms.

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