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Utah man arrested after allegedly shooting at FBI agent, San Juan County deputy



SAN JUAN COUNTY, Utah, May 4, 2020 — A man has been arrested after the FBI offered a $5,000 reward for information that led to his apprehension.

Cecil Vijil, Jr. allegedly shot at an FBI agent and a deputy from the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday.

On Friday, the SJCSO offered a reward of $1,000, which brought the potential reward total to $6,000 in the case.

“On May 3, at approximately 7 p.m., a Bureau of Indian Affairs officer arrested Cecil Vijil,” said a news release from SJCSO. “Vijil was walking along Highway 160, south of Towaoc, Colorado, which is located south of Cortez, on the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Reservation. He was arrested without incident.

“We are no longer looking for wanted persons in regards to the shooting in Mexican Hat and Aneth. We appreciate the assistance of FBI, Utah Department of Public Safety, Navajo Nation Police Department, Bureau of Indian Affairs Police, Utah AP&P, and all citizens everywhere that assisted in bringing this to a peaceful end.”

A previous news release from the FBI said that on April 30, an FBI special agent and a San Juan County Sheriff’s deputy went to Vijil’s home near Aneth, on the Navajo Nation, as part of an investigation into another crime. That’s when Vijil allegedly fired multiple rounds at the special agent and deputy. No one was injured.

Vijil was charged with assault on a federal officer and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. A warrant was then issued for his arrest.

The first incident for which Vigil was wanted happened 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 the FBI special Agent and the SJCSO deputy arrived at Vigil’s Aneth residence. They were in a marked law enforcement vehicle, FBI documents said.

“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 said. “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.”

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