MOAB — A Utah State park ranger remains in critical condition, and the man alleged to have shot him remains at large two weeks after the shootout occurred at the Poison Spider Mesa trailhead outside of Moab. Meanwhile, friends and acquaintances are planning a local fundraiser to help the family any way they can.
"I started calling people, and it was, by the next morning, our whole community, this sort of river community, knew what had happened to Brody," said Brian Merrill, one of Young's friends who helped organize the event. "It spread like wildfire, and everybody was concerned and praying."
Merrill and Chip Broyles, who are also helping organize the fundraiser — set for Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Eastmont Middle School, 10100 S. 1300 East, Sandy — said a lot of people in the river-rafting community in Utah know Young and his wife, Wendy, so when they heard about the shooting, they thought they should help.
"You can see that person's face, and you know that person's family, it's like, oh my gosh," Broyles said.
The fundraiser will include live music, food, and auctions for river trips, outdoor gear, gift certificates to restaurants and "a bunch of other things people will probably be interested in," said Broyles.
There is also an account set up at any Wells Fargo branch in Brody Young's name.
A family member said Brody Young has been through several surgeries and continues to have complications with infections while recovering at a Grand Junction, Colo., hospital from multiple gunshot wounds.
Young, 34, was shot during a Nov. 19 confrontation with a man who evaded police in a weeklong search of the canyons in the Caveman Ranch area, off Potash Road, just outside of Moab. It is believed that Young was conducting a routine parking-lot check at the Poison Spider Mesa trailhead when the exchange of shots was fired. Young was able to radio for help, but the man had escaped before anyone arrived.
Before having a chance to interview Young and after blood was found inside the vehicle driven by the gunman, officials had reason to believe the man had been shot in the leg.
Lance Leeroy Arellano, 40, was charged Nov. 23 with attempted aggravated murder, a first-degree felony.
Contributing: Wendy Leonard