Ranger’s vest stopped bullets

More than one bullet fired at Utah park ranger Brody Young’s back was stopped by a bullet-proof vest he was wearing on the night of a shootout near Moab, authorities said Friday.

“There were several rounds to his back that were stopped,” said Tim Smith, regional manager for Utah State Parks. “It’s probably not too much of a reach to say if he didn’t have it (bullet-proof vest), he wouldn’t be here today.”

Grand County Utah Sheriff Jim Nyland confirmed the ranger’s vest had stopped rounds to Young’s back, but he said he didn’t know how many.

The vests are standard issue for Utah park rangers, Smith said.

In addition to the rounds that were stopped, Young suffered five to six gunshot wounds to an arm, leg and his stomach, during the Nov. 19 confrontation with suspected shooter Lance Leeroy Arellano, 40, who remained the focus of a manhunt Friday near Moab. Authorities believe Young returned fire, wounding Arellano.

Nyland said authorities still haven’t been able to interview Young, 34, who remains at St. Mary’s Hospital.

A motive for Arellano’s alleged assault remains unknown, Nyland said.

Young radioed to dispatchers that he’d been shot at 8:42 p.m. Nov. 19, which authorities believe was after Young spotted a car parked at the Poison Spider trail head and stopped to check on it.

“We believe (Young) had talked to this individual just to get information,” Nyland said of the sequence of events just before shots were fired.


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