Murder Suspect Evades Capture

White Mountain man on foot with a gun in Tonto Basin as manhunt widens

Gabriel Jaramillo

Gabriel Jaramillo |

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After a high-speed chase and shoot-out Saturday, police are still looking for a White Mountain man around the northeast end of Roosevelt Lake. The man is wanted in connection with a murder in Eagar.

Trackers and K9 teams hope to pick up the man’s trail again Tuesday, which led them into a rocky drainage Monday night.

Gabriel Ross Jaramillo, 57, reportedly fired multiple shots at Gila County sheriff’s deputies near the lake’s north side boat ramp Saturday night before fleeing into the rugged, high-desert terrain, according to officials.

Despite a massive influx of officers from half a dozen state agencies, including helicopters from three police departments, Jaramillo remains on the run.

Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores said he is armed and dangerous.

GCSO Lt. Tim Scott, who is heading up search efforts near the lake, said Tuesday morning that trackers used helicopters with thermal imaging equipment Monday night to search for the man, but only picked up the body heat of cows.

Scott said they will continue searching for Jaramillo because “we need to catch him.”

The whole ordeal started Saturday when deputies tried to pull over Jaramillo near Globe-Superior when he was spotted driving a stolen vehicle belonging to a man found dead.

Steven Long, 47, of Eagar, was reported missing Aug. 21 along with his 2006 white Toyota Tundra. On Friday, mushroom hunters found Long’s body near Big Lake, in Apache County.

When officers tried to stop Jaramillo in Globe, he fled, leading officers on a high-speed chase through Gila County.

Jaramillo crossed to the north side of Roosevelt Lake at the Bar X Crossing, Scott said.

About 11 p.m., Jaramillo stopped near the Indian Point boat ramp and engaged in a gun battle with three deputies.

While none of the officers were injured, officers’ bullets disabled Jaramillo’s vehicle.

Jaramillo fled into the Tonto National Forest on foot.

Officers did not follow immediately since he was armed and they did not have the equipment for operating at night, Scott said.

Jaramillo got a two-hour lead on authorities. It took some time for officers from DPS and the Forest Service to get on site with the proper gear, including night vision equipment.

It is unclear what kind of gun Jaramillo is carrying.

Although as many as 45 officers searched throughout the night and all day Saturday, Jaramillo eluded capture.

The search remains concentrated on the north side of Roosevelt Lake although it is possible Jaramillo may flee to Superior or Round Valley, Flores said.

Jaramillo is 6 feet, 2 inches tall, weighs between 195 and 210 pounds, has brown eyes and brown hair, and was last seen wearing a white shirt and a baseball cap. He may be injured, Scott said.

The GCSO is working in conjunction with the Eagar Police, U.S. Marshals, Department of Public Safety, U.S. Forest Service and Department of Corrections.

The Toyota Tundra Jaramillo was driving is being held by the GCSO. Det. George Ratliff said the truck was delivered on a flatbed with a tarp covering it to protect any evidence inside.

Court records show Jaramillo has been convicted of littering, issuing a bad check and more than a dozen traffic violations. He also has several ongoing criminal cases.

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