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Lance Arellano Named Person of Interest in Shooting of Utah Park Ranger Brody Young

Person of Interest Name in Shooting of Utah Park Ranger Brody Young
Lance Leeroy Arellano/Brody Young (AP Photos)

MOAB, Utah (CBS/AP) Law officers continue to scour an eastern Utah canyon for the gunman responsible for critically wounding park ranger Brody Young, but have narrowed their search after naming a person of interest in the case.

Police have identified Lance Leeroy Arellano as "possibly being involved in the shooting" Friday of the 34-year-old park ranger who remains in critical, but stable condition, the Grand County Sheriff's Dept. said in a statement late Sunday.

However, they did not say if the 40-year-old suspect and the man being hunted were the same person.

The search near Dead Horse State Park began after Young was shot three times Friday night while patrolling a popular trail.

Although it is unclear what sparked the gunfire, authorities believe Young stopped a vehicle on the trail and gunfire was exchanged between Young and the driver.

Several hours after the shooting, Arellano's 1999 silver Pontiac Grand Am was spotted parked in the brush several miles south of where the incident occurred but not far from the canyon where authorities were focusing their search, Grand County Sheriff Jim Nyland said.

Nyland believes the landscape has given the gunman the "upper hand" in avoiding capture; however, he thinks Arellano, who is also believed to be injured, 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 said.

More than 160 officers from around the state and three helicopters spent Sunday combing an area near the Colorado River, as well as 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.

On Sunday evening, officers scaled back operations, but resumed their search of 15 square miles of rugged terrain with full force Monday morning.

Arellano has a criminal history that includes assault and drug charges and may be armed and dangerous.

The suspect's family told The Salt Lake Tribune that Arellano is not a "backcountry, outdoorsman."

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