MOAB -- Four crime scene investigators from the Weber County Sheriff's Office joined almost 100 other law enforcement officers Saturday in a search for the man who shot and critically wounded a State Parks and Recreation officer.
Brody Young, 34, was shot Friday night near the Poison Spider Trail Head. He stopped a vehicle at the trailhead, and gunfire was exchanged between him and the driver, said parks spokeswoman Deena Loyola. It wasn't immediately clear what sparked the violence.
The Weber investigators are handling the crime scene and the suspect's vehicle, which was found about eight miles away from the shooting scene. That frees local law enforcement officers who are more familiar with the territory to search for the shooter, Grand County Sheriff Jim Nyland said.
Darkness caused the search to be cut back Saturday night, but it will resume this morning.
Young was reported in stable but critical condition at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, Colo.
Nyland said officers were able to pick up the man's footprints and found his rifle and backpack along the Colorado River, about 22 miles southwest of Moab.
Searchers also found a tattered, bloody T-shirt that the suspect may have used to stanch a heavily bleeding wound, the sheriff said.
Authorities are focusing on a canyon because the suspect's silver Pontiac Grand Am was found nearby. They're not sure whether the suspect was alone. The car's registered owner is from the Salt Lake City area.
Family members describe Young as a friendly, outgoing ranger who has faced tense work situations but never alone. They said they were stunned by the shooting.
The Poison Spider Mesa trail to the south of Moab is among Utah's best-known biking runs with enthusiasts calling it an especially challenging but scenic loop that rises more than 1,000 feet into the surrounding countryside.