SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — The U.S. Border Patrol says agents patrolling the Otay Mountain Wilderness area southeast of Downtown San Diego encountered three men who said they were shot before they crossed the border Thursday morning.

According to a Border Patrol news release, the three victims were from Mexico and told agents they encountered armed bandits south of the border and were subsequently shot.

The migrants claimed they were able to continue north despite their wounds, and they crossed the border illegally.

Agents reportedly provided emergency medical services to the migrants who were transported to local hospitals for further medical treatment.

“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.”

The Border Patrol says their Mexican counterparts responded to the location where the shooting reportedly took place and began searching the area for the armed suspects. 

Mexican law enforcement is said to have discovered a man who had died after being shot.

Two of the three men who made it north of the border remain hospitalized; the third is now in U.S. Border Patrol custody.

Border Patrol is reporting the San Diego Sector has seen an increase in “border bandit” activity during the past few months.

CBP is also reporting that previous patrols conducted by the San Diego Sector Foreign Operation Branch and the government of Mexico have resulted in the arrest of other armed bandits and the seizure of weapons, ammo, and other paraphernalia.