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Utah park ranger shot nine times is ready to return to work

Published December 18, 2011 11:35 am

The suspected gunman in the 2010 near-fatal shooting is still at large.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Utah Park ranger who narrowly escaped death after surviving a Nov. 19, 2010, shooting at a trailhead near Moab is ready to return to work.

Brody Young, who was shot nine times by a man he had approached about camping illegally, has recovered from his injuries enough to return to the job, Deena Loyola, a spokeswoman for Utah State Parks, has confirmed.

Young, 35, had pulled into the Poison Spider Mesa trailhead after 8 p.m. the day of the shooting to speak with the driver of a parked silver Pontiac. The man had no identification but gave Young a fake name and birth date. As Young walked to his truck to check the information, the man — believed to be 40-year-old Lance Leeroy Arellano — shot him from behind.

Young fired back several times, emptying his gun and reloading.

Grand County sheriff's Deputy Al Cymbaluk and Moab police Officer Shaun Hansen heard Young's radio call for help and were first at the scene. Cymbaluk said he arrived to find Young trying to sit up and find the shooter, who had fled in the Pontiac.

Authorities still have not located Arellano, who fled into the desert with a gunshot wound he suffered in the shootout with Young.

Young spoke publicly about the shooting in a May ceremony at the state Capitol, where he thanked colleagues who helped save his life.

Young crawled 30 feet back to his truck to call for help after being shot. Bullets were lodged in his lung, heart, shoulder, back, hip and groin.

"I was laying on the ground, and I could hear the [radio] traffic — 'Let's get the helicopter' — and I knew they were coming," he said in May at the state's annual emergency medical services awards ceremony, which honored 20 people who helped save Young after he was shot.

Young could not be reached for comment on Sunday, but posted on a Facebook page called "Ranger Brody" on Dec. 13 that he was ready to return to work.

"Merry Christmas everyone! I have been cleared to work full time as of the 28th of November. I signed the last Workers Comp check. Feelin' good," Young wrote. "A year ago yesterday I regained consciousness [as far as I can remember]."

He and his wife, Wendy, reside in Moab with their three young children.






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