Mexico Border Shootout California
Guillermo Arias  /  AP
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer is seen from Mexico's side of the San Ysidro port of entry guarding vehicles involved in a shooting at the border near Tijuana on Tuesday.
updated 9/23/2009 12:20:53 PM ET 2009-09-23T16:20:53

Police have arrested two of the three drivers who authorities say tried to storm their immigrant-filled vans past U.S. border inspectors, resulting in agents opening fire. The driver of a third van has fled to Mexico.

The two unidentified drivers are in federal custody, along with 74 people who were inside the three vans, San Diego police said Wednesday.

Federal agents on Tuesday afternoon shot and wounded the 31-year-old male driver of one van and a 42-year-old male occupant when the vehicles tried to cross at the San Ysidro port of entry connecting San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico.

Authorities say one of the vans then smashed into a truck, injuring a 37-year-old male van passenger in the head.

A 30-year-old passenger in the truck was treated at a hospital after complaints of pain.

The U.S. closed the border crossing Tuesday night following the incident, which authorities said was an attempt to smuggle illegal immigrants from Mexico into the U.S. The border was reopened to traffic early Wednesday.

Details remained sketchy but the drivers of the vans, crammed with illegal immigrants, tried to storm past inspectors at the San Ysidro port of entry and make their way into the U.S. without stopping, said U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Angelica DeCima.DeCima.

"It was human smuggling, definitely," said Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

An ICE agent and a CBP officer opened fire at the vans, DeCima said.

The shooting occurred over nine lines of traffic in the 24 northbound lanes, said Monica Munoz, a San Diego police spokeswoman.

About 40,000 vehicles enter the U.S. each day at San Ysidro, which connects San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. Investigators closed the port to vehicle traffic from Mexico to the United States.

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