Three missionaries from Oklahoma-based group shot to death in Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Three people from an Oklahoma-based missionary group, including the daughter and son-in-law of a Missouri state representative, were shot and killed in a gang attack in Haiti as they were leaving an event at a church, the organization said Friday.

State Rep. Ben Baker (R) and Missions in Haiti identified the victims as David “Davy” Lloyd III, 23, son of the organization’s founders; his wife and Baker’s daughter, Natalie Lloyd, 21; and Jude Montis, 45, its country director. They were coming out of a church Thursday evening when they were ambushed by “a gang of 3 trucks full of guys,” Missions in Haiti said on its Facebook page.

“They were three great people,” David Lloyd, who founded the group with his wife, Alicia, told The Washington Post. “They’re irreplaceable. I’m at a loss as how to continue going forward without them.”

“My heart is broken in a thousand pieces,” Baker said on Facebook. “They went to Heaven together.” He asked for prayers for the Baker and Lloyd families.

The State Department is aware of “reports of the deaths of U.S. citizens in Haiti,” a spokesperson said, and stands “ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance.”

The Caribbean nation of 11 million people is beset by gang violence, political corruption and endemic poverty. Its presidency has been vacant since the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, and its legislature empty since the last lawmakers’ terms expired early last year. Prime Minister Ariel Henry resigned last month.

The paramilitary groups launched an attack on the main airport in Port-au-Prince in February, shuttering it for nearly three months. It reopened this week.


The government is now run by a transitional presidential council tasked with holding new elections. A U.N.-approved international police force, led by Kenya and funded and trained largely by the United States, is preparing to deploy to Port-au-Prince this month to help the Haitian National Police confront heavily armed gangs that control an estimated 80% of the capital.

The Claremore, Okla.-based Missions in Haiti this week expressed optimism about the deployment: “Some gangs are realizing their rule is about to come to an end.”

The independent nonprofit, founded in 2000, runs a church and a children’s home in the Bon Repos district of Port-au-Prince and a bakery that provides bread for the children and employs them when they become adults. It has about 50 employees.

Gang members stole their vehicles and took Davy Lloyd to a house where he was tied up and beaten, the organization said. Another gang arrived to see “if they could help, so they say,” but when one of its members was killed, the gang “went into full attack mode” and began shooting at the house where the three missionaries were held.

The missionaries used Starlink satellite internet service to call for help, and the organization tried to procure an armored police vehicle to evacuate them, it said. But help never came, and all three were fatally shot.

Davy and Natalie Lloyd married in Missouri in 2022, David Lloyd said. He said his wife left the country in April aboard a State Department evacuation flight because she had medical issues. He left Wednesday with his youngest son after the airport reopened.

Lloyd said the plan was for family members to rotate in and out. He said he asked Davy if he and Natalie wanted to leave this week, but Davy declined, saying his father should join Alicia in the United States for two or three weeks since they’d been separated since April. He and Natalie would leave when Lloyd returned.

“I preferred me just to be there when it’s really going bad, because I didn’t want my family to get caught up in something,” Lloyd said, “but Davy was like, ‘Dad, I’m an adult now. This is where I want to be.’ He grew up there. He loved Haiti.”

The State Department urges U.S. citizens against traveling to Haiti. In a long-standing travel warning, it cites widespread kidnapping - among other violent crimes - that regularly targets Americans and other foreigners, often with firearms. The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince periodically advises Americans in Haiti to leave as quickly as possible.

Jean Wesnel Edrouine Pervil, the mayor of the Croix-des-Bouquets neighborhood, said there has been no police presence in Bon Repos since an attack on the local police station Feb. 29.

“It is impossible for us to bring a justice of the peace to investigate what happened,” he told The Washington Post. “It is impossible to enter the area because it is controlled by gangs. This is a very serious situation.”

Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin, director general of Haiti’s Institute of Social Welfare and Research, said gang violence in Port-au-Prince had led many children’s homes to move or shut down. But not all of them.

“Sometimes, people feel safe because they do good deeds in the areas,” she told The Post. “They feel secure. They are not always very afraid.”

Lloyd said that all of the children have been evacuated to a safer area and that Missions in Haiti had never had any problems with the gangs - until Thursday.

“I’ve been told they got some of their kids in our school,” he said. “I’ve even had some of them tell me they appreciate me being there and helping the country of Haiti. But from what I understand, this was a different gang.”

Seventeen American and Canadian missionaries with Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries, including an infant, were kidnapped outside Port-au-Prince by the 400 Mawozo gang in October 2021. All survived; some were held for nearly two months.

Germine Joly, the head of 400 Mawozo, pleaded guilty in January to U.S. charges for his role in a conspiracy to smuggle guns to Haiti from Florida in violation of U.S. export laws and to launder the ransoms that were paid to release the hostages.


Joly, who ran the gang from a Port-au-Prince prison, has not yet been sentenced. He has also been charged with conspiring to commit hostage-taking in a separate indictment from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Three other Haitian gang leaders who are alleged to have been involved in the kidnapping have been indicted on charges of hostage-taking and conspiracy to commit hostage-taking. They remain at large in Haiti.

“It’s horrible,” Villedrouin said. “I sincerely hope we will get help.”

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Coletta reported from Toronto. Michael Birnbaum in Washington contributed to this report.