SAN DIEGO — Three men were being treated for gunshot wounds Thursday morning after they were found by Border Patrol agents in the Otay Mountain Wilderness area, authorities said.
Around 8:20 a.m., agents from the Chula Vista Station discovered the three wounded migrants and requested medical aid, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Special Operations Supervisor Eric Lavergne told FOX 5 in an email.
All three victims were taken to local hospitals to be treated.
The men, all Mexican nationals, told first responders that they were shot by armed bandits south of the border and managed to continue north, crossing illegally via the Otay Mountain Wilderness.
“Those seeking to enter the U.S. through this mountainous terrain are putting themselves in dangerous situations as armed thieves and kidnappers use these remote locations to victimize them,” said U.S. Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke. “Thankfully, our agents were able to get these migrants the care they needed. People should not put their trust in smugglers who have no interest in their welfare and instruct them to cross through areas where these violent criminals prey.”
Mexico government officials assisted Border Patrol agents in the search for the armed individuals, but ended up finding a deceased man who died from a gunshot wound in the area of the reported shooting.
One of the three men was treated and turned over to CBP custody for processing while the other two men remain in the hospital, border officials said.