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UPDATE: Border bandits shot 3 men on Otay Mesa trail

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Posted at 11:19 AM, Sep 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-15 21:07:38-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The U.S. Border Patrol says its agents stumbled upon three victims of a shooting as they were monitoring the Otay Mountain Wilderness Thursday morning.

The men suffering from gunshot wounds were discovered around 8:20 a.m., and the agents from the Chula Vista station immediately requested emergency medical assistance, the Border Patrol says.

Cal Fire responded to the area of Alta Road and Otay Mountain Truck Trail at 8:35 a.m., and firefighters say all three victims were taken to Mercy Hospital for treatment.

The Border Patrol issued a press release around 5 p.m. saying the men were ambushed and shot by armed bandits. After they were shot, they were able to continue north and illegally cross the border, the release says.

U.S. Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke says armed kidnappers and thieves take advantage of and victimize people who try to enter the country through the mountainous terrain.

“Thankfully, our agents were able to get these migrants the care they needed," Heitke says. "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.”

Border Patrol agents and law enforcement from Mexico searched the area for the armed bandits. Although they did not find the suspects, Mexican officials found a man's body, and preliminary reports show he died from a gunshot wound, according to the press release.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, one of the three men injured in the shooting was released from the hospital and turned over to Border Patrol custody for processing. The press release stated the other two men were still recovering in the hospital.

According to the Border Patrol, the San Diego sector has noticed more border bandit activity over the past few months.