The two Americans who survived a Mexican cartel kidnapping in March are coming forward with disturbing details on the horrifying ordeal.
Latavia Washington McGee and Eric Williams spoke with CNN’s Anderson Cooper about the attack, which left two of their friends, Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brown, dead.
The four friends were driving in the Mexican border city of Matamoros when they turned down a side street and heard a car horn. However, Brown said not to stop because he saw a gun, Washington McGee explained.
Then the white minivan they were driving in was forced to a stop, and Woodard and Brown ran out of the doors immediately when they were instantly gunned down.
“When I jumped out on the driver’s side, that’s when I was shot in both legs,” Williams said, who appeared on CNN in a wheelchair and wearing a large leg brace.
Williams, 38, couldn’t see Woodard because he was behind him but saw Brown on the ground, “but I could see Zindell’s back. He was hit two times, and big chunks of meat was gone.”
A graphic video showed the four U.S. citizens loaded into a white truck in broad daylight with multiple witnesses. At the time, Brown and Woodard were alive, according to Williams.
The pair said they arrived at a house 10-15 minutes later, and the kidnappers wore red “Diablo masks” and put “guns at our heads, telling us not to look up.”
A cartel investigator started speaking to the group, and “that’s when Shaeed said ‘I love y’all, I’m gone,’ and he died right there.” tearful Williams revealed, “It was the last thing he said.”
Williams was taken to a medical clinic to be treated for his wounds with no medication–they stitched his legs up, and then Brown was waiting for medical attention at the clinic as well. “I talked to him the whole time… just told him I was sorry because I asked him to come with me, and he just said, ‘It’s okay, I’m your brother, I’m supposed to be there for you, I love you.” Brown died an hour later.
When Washington McLee was shown a video from a cartel leader of her kidnapping, she said she began crying. “I just started crying, [thinking] looks like I’m never going home,” the mother of six said.
The cartel members also tried to make the two survivors have sex with each other, however, the pair refused to and told the gunmen they were brother and sister and Washington McLee was pregnant.
Mexican authorities have charged six men and five cartel members, and the pair were found with their hands tied together with belts near a pickup truck.
The U.S. Department has issued a travel advisor listing Tamaulipas State under the Do Not Travel To section due to crime and kidnapping.