The Americans who survived a violent abduction at gunpoint by a Mexican drug cartel have spoken out about the harrowing ordeal — describing how their captors wore terrifying red “Diablo” masks, held guns to their heads, and tried to force them to have sex with each other.
Over a month after the horrifying, broad-daylight attack, LaTavia Washington McGee and Eric Williams detailed their shocking tale of survival and opened up about the pain of losing their friends Shaeed Woodard and Zindell Brown.
The four friends were ambushed and abducted in the crime-ridden border city of Matamoros on March 3 while traveling for a medical procedure.
Relatives had said Washington McGee was scheduled to undergo a tummy tuck procedure.
The two survivors told CNN they were blindfolded and taken to several different locations by the cartel members in devil masks before they were rescued days later, on March 7.
At one point, Williams said their captors “tried to make us have sex with each other” — but the duo told them that they were brother and sister.
It is unclear if the pair are actually related.
“They was like, ‘What are y’all?’ We said brothers and sisters and they was like ‘have sex with each other,’” Washington McGee said. “I was like no, these are my brothers I’m pregnant.”
The vicious kidnappers also held guns to their heads and ordered them not to look up.
“They were putting the guns to our head, telling us to not look up, things like that,” Williams said.
The two survivors recalled exchanging emotional goodbyes with their friends while they were being held in the back of the pickup truck.
“That’s where Shaeed said, ‘I love y’all, and I’m gone.’ And he died right there,” Williams said tearfully. “He said he loved us and he was gone. It was the last thing he did.”
Washington McGee, a mother of six, also remembered telling Woodard she was sorry moments before he died.
She was later put in a room with Brown, who was badly wounded before he died.
“He was fighting for his life and they didn’t do nothing,” she said. “I talked to him the whole time … I just told him sorry because I asked him to come with me.”
Four days earlier, the group of friends had been driving when they heard a car horn behind them and soon after, gunfire erupted.
“Zindell and Shaeed, they jumped up to run and they were gunned down,” Williams recalled, adding that he jumped out of the driver’s side after someone started to beat on the car with a gun.
“That’s when I was shot on both legs,” Williams said.
He was later taken to a clinic where he was stitched up without medication or anyone checking whether the bullet was still in his leg.
Both Zindell and Shaeed were still alive when the group was forced into the bed of a pickup truck, which took them to another location following the encounter to be questioned.
At one point, Washington McGee recalled one of their captors watching the viral video of the Americans being abducted off the street, which he then let her watch.
“I just started crying,” she recalled, adding that she didn’t know the video had reached the US or that their families had known what had happened. “I was like, ‘I’m never going home.’”
“They didn’t deserve that. None of us deserved it. But we’re alive — we have a lot of recovering to do,” the mom said.
Washington McGee said she thought they would never be found because their kidnappers had police scanners, so they always knew where authorities were searching for them.
Days later, the two survivors, along with their friends’ bodies, were driven through the night while their captors cocked their guns.
They were eventually found at an abandoned shack four days after they were abducted.
An apology letter was eventually issued by the Gulf Cartel, the group believed to be behind the incident.
Five of its members have been handed over to authorities, though officials doubt the sincerity of the apology.
At least six people in Mexico have been arrested in connection to the fatal kidnapping.