A US citizen who lost his wife and two of his sons when they were ambushed by gunmen in Mexico said his life has been upended and he's leaving the country with the rest of his family, ABC News reported.

David Langford told ABC's "World News Tonight" Sunday that "my whole life has turned upside down. Not only have I lost a wife and two children, but I'm having to move the rest of my family with really no place to go at this point."

Langford's wife, Dawna, and two of his sons, Trevor Langford, 11, and Rogan Langford, 2, were among the nine women and children killed in the ambush Monday in the Mexican state of Sonora. Authorities suspect Mexican drug cartel hit men carried out the attack.

Family and friends attend the burial service of Christina Langford Johnson the last victim of a cartel ambush that killed nine American women and children. Photo / AP
Family and friends attend the burial service of Christina Langford Johnson the last victim of a cartel ambush that killed nine American women and children. Photo / AP

The attack occurred as the women travelled with their children to visit relatives. Eight children, some mere infants, survived the ambush.

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The spread-out community traces its origins to the end of polygamy more than a century ago by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, forcing Mormon families in the US with multiple wives to establish offshoots elsewhere. The families had lived in two hamlets in Mexico's Sonora state: La Mora and Colonia LeBaron.

Langford said his son Devin, 13, was a hero because after the shootings he hid his siblings in the forest and walked 22km to a hamlet to get help.

"To be honest with you, my boy's a hero simply because he gave his life for his brothers and sisters," he told ABC News.

"Every one of my children that survived that are living miracles," Langford added. "How many bullet holes were fired into that vehicle ... at that horrific scene and how many children were involved. It's amazing. It's amazing. It's beyond amazing that they survived."

Langford said he wants the attackers to face justice.

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"I believe in forgiveness, but I also believe in justice and forgiveness doesn't rob justice. You don't get justice too much in Mexico," he said.

Family and friends attend a funeral service to remember Christina Langford Johnson. Photo / AP
Family and friends attend a funeral service to remember Christina Langford Johnson. Photo / AP
Howard Miller, centre, attends the burial service for his wife Rhonita Miller and four of their young children who were murdered by drug cartel gunmen. Photo / AP
Howard Miller, centre, attends the burial service for his wife Rhonita Miller and four of their young children who were murdered by drug cartel gunmen. Photo / AP
Children cry during a burial service for Rhonita Miller and four of her young children who were murdered by drug cartel gunmen. Photo / AP
Children cry during a burial service for Rhonita Miller and four of her young children who were murdered by drug cartel gunmen. Photo / AP
The coffin that contains the remains of 12-year-old Howard Jacob Miller Jr. is lowered into a grave. Photo / AP
The coffin that contains the remains of 12-year-old Howard Jacob Miller Jr. is lowered into a grave. Photo / AP

Langford said he and much of his family are leaving Mexico. Other residents of the hamlets plan to depart in the coming days, leaving the community their families have called home since the 1950s.

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Family and friends grieve during a burial service for Rhonita Miller and four of her young children who were murdered by drug cartel gunmen. Photo / AP
Family and friends grieve during a burial service for Rhonita Miller and four of her young children who were murdered by drug cartel gunmen. Photo / AP

"It's not worth living in fear," he told ABC. "The toughest part for me was saying goodbye ... saying goodbye to two innocent lives that were cut short and a vibrant wife that lived a life to its fullest that had many friends and was loved by all by everybody."

- AP