Utah authorities change search for shooting suspect
MOAB, Utah — Authorities searching for a suspect in the shooting of a Utah park ranger say they plan to stop pursuing him using foot patrols and instead focus on perimeter security.
The Grand County sheriff’s office said SWAT teams will be on standby if they get credible information about 40-year-old Lance Leeroy Arellano. Authorities say they believe Arellano is armed, dangerous and likely hurt.
Authorities have been searching for Arellano around the red rock canyons near Moab. Authorities say he was wounded in a shootout on Friday with 34-year-old park ranger Brody Young.
Grand County Sheriff Jim Nyland said during a press conference that until authorities get another lead, there’s no reason to have as many people in the area.
“We’re not stopping searching for the suspect,” Nyland said, according to the Deseret News. “We’re just altering our operation somewhat.”
The sheriff’s office says Arellano has a criminal history including charges of assault, possession of a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia and theft.
An arrest warrant for Arellano was issued on Tuesday as prosecutors filed a felony attempted murder charge against him. Bail was set at $1 million.
Nyland said it’s possible Arellano might still be in the area, slipped through the perimeter or died. He said it’s disappointing that the operation is being scaled back.
“Everybody out there wanted to locate this individual,” he said.