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Person of Interest Named in Utah Ranger Shooting

Person of Interest Named in Utah Ranger Shooting

This undated photo provided by Utah State Parks and Recreation, shows Utah State Ranger Brody Young. (AP/Utah State Parks and Recreation)

Associated Press

November 22, 2010

MOAB, Utah (AP) — Law officers hunting a gunman who critically wounded a Utah park ranger named a person of interest in the case as they prepared for a third day of searching an eastern Utah canyon.

Lance Leeroy Arellano, 40, was identified as “possibly being involved in the shooting” of Brody Young outside of Moab, the Grand County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement late Sunday night. Young, 34, remains in critical but stable condition.

The statement did not say if Arellano and the man being hunted were the same person, but the Salt Lake Tribune reported from the scene that authorities said he is the suspect.

On Sunday, more than 160 officers from around the state spent a second day searching an area near the Colorado River, 20 miles southwest of Moab. The region is famous for red rock canyons and natural arch formations.

The search near Dead Horse State Park began after Young was shot three times Friday night while patrolling the popular Poison Spider Mesa Trail.

Arellano’s 1999 silver Pontiac Grand Am was spotted parked in the brush hours later several miles south of the shooting site but not far from the canyon where authorities are focusing their search, Grand County Sheriff Jim Nyland said.

The search area consisted of 15 square miles of rugged terrain that authorities say has likely given the gunman the “upper hand” in avoiding capture, Nyland said. Three helicopters were included in the search Sunday and authorities were also searching freight cars along an area railroad line.

“He pretty much knows where we are at all times because of the number of people we have,” Nyland said at a press conference.

Sunday night, authorities scaled back operations for the second night in a row, leaving about 20 officers in the search area until morning, when the hunt would resume in full force, according to a report by KSL-TV.

Nyland said he thinks Arellano is still in the contained search area. “We feel there’s not any possible way for him to leave the area without us knowing.”

On Saturday, authorities tracked the man’s footprints in a canyon along the Colorado River, recovering his rifle, backpack and a tattered, bloody T-shirt.

“We consider this individual armed and dangerous. As we’re tracking him we have to keep that in mind — the security of the trackers — and we’re having to move pretty slow,” Nyland said.

Authorities found a new set of footprints they were tracking on Sunday before sunset.

Young stopped a vehicle at the trailhead, and gunfire was exchanged between him and the driver, said parks spokeswoman Deena Loyola. It was not clear what sparked the violence, and Nyland said authorities have not yet been able to interview Young.

Nyland had told The Associated Press that the ranger had been shot in the arm, leg and the stomach area, and he underwent surgery at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction. The hospital declined to comment. The ranger is married with three children.

The statement on the person of interest said Arellano has a criminal history that includes assault and drug charges and may be armed, dangerous and seeking medical help.

Nyland told the Tribune that investigators have spoken to Arellano’s family. “The information we’re getting is he’s not really a backcountry, hard-core outdoorsman.”

The Poison Spider Mesa trail to the south of Moab is among Utah’s best-known biking runs with enthusiasts calling it an especially challenging but scenic loop that rises more than 1,000 feet into the surrounding countryside.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

  • Car6_max50


    almost 3 years ago


    God bless the ranger, hopefuly things turned out well.

  • Dscn3582_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Prayers for the ranger and his family. Guys searching for the shooter....front sight-trigger press!!!

  • Photo_1_max50


    over 3 years ago


    And some politicians think he/we get paid too much...

  • Badge_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Fast and speedy recover to you ranger.

  • Image_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Praying for you, your family and loved ones, Ranger Young! Also sending prayers for those officers taking part in the search for the suspect ... WHEN you find him, show him no mercy.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    Best wishes Ranger Young.

  • Police_link_badge_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Fast recovery !!!!! Sorry for the earlier posting..........

  • Untitledma28839986-0002_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Prayers for a full and speedy recovery for Ranger Young. Get this POS and fast.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    My prayers to Ranger Young for a full recovery and I hope they catch this POS and justice is served fast.

  • Academyrun_014_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I hope that Ranger Young recovers fast and fully and the shooter falls down a deep crevice.

  • C1__67__max50


    over 3 years ago


    It's just a matter of time. He"ll be caught

  • Funny_pictures_56616_max50


    over 3 years ago


    He will be caught..........It's just a matter of time.

  • Angel_kincaid_park_2014_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Godspeed on your recovery Ranger Young, Go Get em Guys!!! Stay Safe...

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    track him down like the rabid dog he is

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