FBI, San Juan County Sheriff seek armed, dangerous man after shots fired at officers

Cecil Vijil. Photo: San Juan County Sheriff's Office
  • The reward has been increased. Update.

SAN JUAN COUNTY, Utah, May 1, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The FBI, Utah Highway Patrol and San Juan County Sheriff’s Officer are looking for Cecil Vijil, a suspect wanted after shots were fired at officers in San Juan County.

Two incidents believed to involve Vijil occurred on Thursday. The first was in the early hours of Thursday, and involved 7-Eleven in Mexican Hat. Court papers provided by the FBI reveal that Vijil allegedly fired an AR rifle while in Mexican Hat, but additional details have not been released.

The second incident happened at 3:20 p.m., when an FBI special Agent and a deputy from the San Juan County Sheriff’s office arrived in Aneth, in southeast Utah, where Vijil lives. They were in a marked law enforcement vehicle, FBI documents say.

“Special Agent Butler observed the head and face  of a man, later identified as Cecil Vijil, briefly appear from behind the residence,” the statement says. “Special Agent Butler observed the individual immediately withdraw back behind the residence.

“Alerted by Vijil’s movement, Special Agent Butler and the sheriff’s deputy
remained in their vehicle so as to have cover in the event of gunfire. Within seconds,
Vijil reappeared from behind the residence armed with an AR-style rifle. Vijil
fired multiple rounds from the rifle in the direction of Special Agent Butler and the
vehicle she was in. The firearm was pointed at Special Agent Butler when being fired
by Vijil.”

The agent and deputy “moved the vehicle to create tactical distancing and cover from the incoming gunfire,” the statement says. “As the vehicle was retreating, Special Agent Butler saw Vijil reposition himself and his firearm to a fence post so as to secure a better platform for firing his rifle.

“Special Agent Butler sensed she was in personal danger and believed she was about
to be shot. Special Agent Butler and the sheriff’s deputy retreated away from the residence and immediately reported the incident. Special Agent Butler reviewed photographs of Cecil Vijil and identified the shooter at the residence as Vijil.”

Vijil is believed to be traveling with Gary Lee Jr., who is also being investigated in connection with the cases.

Anyone who sees Vijil or has information on his or Lee’s whereabouts is asked to call 911. Both men should be considered armed and dangerous, a SJCSO statement says.

A $1,000 reward is being offered in the case, the statement says.


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