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Park Ranger shot at Poison Spider Trail

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:39 pm
by Myers
Noticed in today’s (Sunday) paper where a Utah State Park Ranger was shot at the trailhead of Poison Spider Trail. Happened Friday night. About 100 officers were on the trail of a suspect in an area near Dead Horse State Park. The injured Officer was in a hospital in Grand Junction, CO. Critical but stable condition.


Re: Park Ranger shot at Poison Spider Trail

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:56 am
by Smuz
Yeah, I been following the story on Pirate BBS. It apparently happened in the parking area that we stopped at that had the restrooms. At least the Ranger is gonna be OK and seems to have gotten a solid hit on the gunman.

Here's the latest from the Salt Lake City Tribune:

Police identify ranger’s alleged shooter


and Cimaron neugebauer

The Salt Lake Tribune
Published Nov 21, 2010 09:25PM
Updated 1 minute ago Updated Nov 21, 2010 10:59PM

Moab • Stormy weather Sunday hindered searchers combing the rugged, redrock terrain outside Moab where the man accused of shooting and wounding a state parks ranger over the weekend is believed to be hiding.

Police say Lance Leeroy Arellano, 40, is suspected of shooting ranger Brody Young. Arellano was named a "person of interest" in the case late Sunday by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office. His last known address is in Sanpete County. He previously lived in Salt Lake City, police said.

Searchers Sunday had hoped to get a better look in the desert area where the day before investigators found items, including a backpack and a bloodied T-shirt, thought to belong to Arellano. The area is near a spot called Caveman Ranch.

Police called off the search as darkness fell. It is set to resume at dawn Monday.

"The weather moved in on us," Grand County Sheriff Jim Nyland said, after dark had fallen Sunday. "We had one area we were really in particular interested in. We tried to move into that area and as soon as we moved in, it started raining, the wind started blowing. … I know we didn’t complete the assignment tonight we wanted to."

Nyland said Arellano is believed to be wounded and has been without food for more than a day. "We’re thinking he’s still alive. We don’t know for sure," he said.

Young, 34, remained in critical but stable condition late Sunday at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, Colo. "It appears he’s starting to improve," Nyland said. "They’re still doing surgeries." Police have not been able to speak with Young since he was shot.

Young, a park ranger for more than five years, was critically injured in a shootout about 8:40 p.m. Friday, shortly after he pulled over Arellano’s silver Pontiac Grand Am in the parking lot of the Poison Spider Trailhead, just south of Moab. Young was shot in the leg, arm and torso, but was able to report via radio that he had been shot.

"We don’t really know what caused the shooting," Nyland said. Young was doing a routine traffic stop and for unknown reasons, a gunfight erupted, he said.

About 10 p.m. Friday, a Utah Highway Patrol helicopter spotted Arellano’s car abandoned on Potash Road about 15 miles southwest of Moab, just west of the meandering Colorado River.

After searching a 15-square-mile area near the Colorado River on Saturday, Police Sunday were focusing intently on a 2-mile area around where the items believed to belong to Arellano were found. The search terrain is extremely rugged, Nyland said, full of caves and crevices. Police believe the shooter is possibly hiding in the boulders on the mountainside.

"I talked to one searcher who was in this area working and he had to take off his pack, and vest, lay down his rifle and crawl back in there with his flashlight to make sure no one was in there. It’s going to be difficult," Nyland said.

Police watched the area of interest overnight. More than 200 officers from Utah, Colorado and Arizona, including K9 teams, searched Sunday, with each officer pulling 12-hour shifts.

Nyland said he expects the number of searchers to remain at the same level. Boats and helicopters will again be used in the search, he said.

Police had found fresh footprints Sunday morning, following rain the night before, but by late afternoon, stormy weather set in. "It kind of turned against us," Nyland said.

Three helicopters, including one with infrared capability, helped in the search Sunday. Boats monitored the Colorado River. SWAT teams had been stationed near a ranch in the area and on a train that carries materials out of the nearby Potash mine. Search teams checked the railroad from State Road 191 to the Intrepid Potash Plant. Search teams also cleared all railroad freight cars stationed at Potash.

Nyland said he was "confident" police would find the shooter.

He said investigators have spoken to Arellano’s family. "The information we’re getting is he’s not really a backcountry, hard-core outdoorsman."

Arellano has a criminal history including assault, possession of a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia and theft charges, police said.

Police have blocked off the highway to the Poison Spider trail, but were still finding campers in the area Sunday. One man, who identified himself only as Dan, said he spent the night in his sport utility vehicle after coming across a washed out Mineral Basin Road late Saturday.

"The helicopters woke me up," he said. "[A sheriff’s deputy] checked me out to make sure I wasn’t the gunman."

Nyland said he believes 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."

He confirmed Sunday that officers from San Juan County and Kane County have arrived to assist with the search. Given experience Kane County officers had this past summer tracking down another officer shooting suspect in Kanab, Nyland said they are running off of a good track record for finding suspects.

Young’s next-door neighbor Tasia Kelley said the Young family moved into the area about two years ago and are just "really nice people." She and her family were surprised to hear he was shot in redrock country.

Young and his wife Wendy have three children, all younger than 5.

Young’s stepmother, Micheline Young, of Arizona, said the ranger loves the outdoors. She doesn’t understand what would cause someone to shoot him.

"I feel really bad because Brody spends a lot of hours, especially during the summer, safeguarding the people [of Moab]," Micheline said Saturday evening. "And on a couple occasions has even helped recover [dead] bodies from the river. I mean he really is a hero and he did not deserve this. It made us feel bad that anyone would have to feel like they have to do this to someone."

She said her husband, along with other family members, traveled to Colorado to be with her son after hearing he had been shot.

"We visit Moab and you think of campers and tourists. This is not somebody that got mad and shot at him, he really came after him. It was just really shocking to us," Young said.

On Saturday, authorities tracked Arellano along the Colorado River bottoms, about 22 miles southwest of Moab and east of Dead Horse State Park. During the search, officers found the items believed to be Arellano’s.

A .22-caliber rifle was recovered along with the backpack and the piece of blood-soaked T-shirt.

Nyland said they believe the shirt was used as a tourniquet. The backpack contained a small amount of clothing, canned goods and an empty gun holster believed to hold a .40-caliber handgun.
Copyright 2010 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Re: Park Ranger shot at Poison Spider Trail

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:55 am
by stevec
Wow, hope they find him.

Re: Park Ranger shot at Poison Spider Trail

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:27 pm
by nickademusss
I am glad the ranger will survive, must be a tough guy to take 3 shots from a large caliber hand gun. I think the perp is not hiding, but passed out from blood loss in some hole, not a bad place for him...

Its stories like this that makes me keep at least a few guns around...

Re: Park Ranger shot at Poison Spider Trail

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:36 am
by stevec
If they find the suspect dead, I hope he suffered at least... :evil:

Re: Park Ranger shot at Poison Spider Trail

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:45 am
by tweeder
Smuz wrote:Yeah, I been following the story on Pirate BBS.
Yeah...If you're talking about the thread in Chit-Chat, I pretty much started seeing red about halfway down page 6. That particular owner of PBB can go straight to Hell. :evil:

Re: Park Ranger shot at Poison Spider Trail

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:26 am
by Smuz
tweeder wrote:
Smuz wrote:Yeah, I been following the story on Pirate BBS.
Yeah...If you're talking about the thread in Chit-Chat, I pretty much started seeing red about halfway down page 6. That particular owner of PBB can go straight to Hell. :evil:
That's the one. I agree with your sentiments on Camo, he kinda soiled himself on that comment and his follow-ups.

Re: Park Ranger shot at Poison Spider Trail

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:27 pm
by Ruby
I rarely go on pirate anymore, way too many internet losers/tough guys on there.