Funeral pending for Texas woman, children killed in Veracruz

Margaret Schneider // KTVT-TV Image

Funeral arrangements are being made for a Cleburne, Texas mother and two teenage sisters killed by gunmen attacking a passenger bus in Veracruz.

Maria Hartsell was on a bus heading to visit her mother in Veracruz last Thursday when gunmen stormed the bus in a robbery spree.

The gunmen killed seven people aboard three passenger buses.

Just days before leaving to visit family in Mexico, 13-year-old Christina Hartsell wrote her father - urging him, 'don't worry.'

The teen took pictures of her journey south but travelling overnight on Mexico's highways proved more dangerous than she imagined.

It's tragic what happened, Christina TMs grandmother Margaret Schneider told KTVT-TV. It was just a tragedy, totally unnecessary.

Schneider learned Thursday about that happened.

The gunmen killed Christina, her mother Maria and Christina's half-sister Karla.

I'm not her biological grandma, Karla's, but I loved her like my own, Schneider told the Dallas-based TV station. She always came up and gave me a hug and said, I love you grandmother.

The suspected drug cartel attack targeting innocent civilians is leaving many puzzled.

I just don't understand why they would kill those girls, Schneider said. I just don't understand.

Two other siblings survived the attack: 15-year-old Angie, who suffers from down syndrome and 10-year-old Micheal.

His mother getting shot, his sisters getting shot - he witnessed it all, Schneider said.

The grieving grandmother said her daughter-in-law Maria was anxious to see her own ailing mother and ignored warnings not to travel to Mexico.

All the family advised her not to go, but she still went, Schneider said.