New details released about Idaho Falls shooting as murder suspect appears in court

Crime Watch

IDAHO FALLS — An argument between two men in a parking lot Wednesday led to one shooting and killing the other, according to court documents obtained by EastIdahoNews.com.

Jake D. Eilander, 37, appeared in court via video from the Bonneville County Jail for the first time Thursday afternoon. He is charged with second-degree murder in connection to the death of 44-year-old Ulises M. Rangel.

jake again
Jake Eilander appeared in court via video from the Bonneville County Jail on Thursday, March 31. | Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com

The investigation began when Idaho Falls Police received a call around 4 p.m. Wednesday that a man was bleeding and not breathing in the parking lot behind Planet Fitness on Woodruff Avenue.

Officers arrived and discovered Rangel’s body near a 1980 white Ford F350 owned by Eilander, according to an affidavit of probable cause. A single shell casing from a .45 Winchester pistol was found by the front of the truck with a trail of blood leading to Rangel’s body.

RELATED | Man charged with second-degree murder after body found behind local gym

Surveillance cameras from a nearby ice cream shop showed two people near or inside the pickup at 3:18 p.m. Around 15 minutes later, video footage captured Rangel walking toward the truck.

“An altercation between Rangel and a male dressed in a white shirt and blue jeans occurs. Rangel and the male, later identified as Jake D. Eilander, get into a fighting posture. Both individuals walk to the front of the F350. No physical contact is seen between the two,” a detective wrote in his report.

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Numerous police officers were called to the parking lot behind Planet Fitness Wednesday after a man was shot and killed. | Andrea Olson, EastIdahoNews.com

Rangel then reportedly walked away for a moment before going back to the truck and continuing north through the parking lot. He then collapsed, court documents say. Meanwhile, Eilander and the other person were seen walking south through the parking lot.

Police obtained Ring doorbell footage from a nearby apartment that showed Eilander, dressed in a white shirt and blue jeans, at 3:15 p.m. in the parking lot. A witness heard a gunshot around 3:30 p.m. and went outside. The witness told officers she saw Eilander and his girlfriend walking away from the scene of the shooting.

Several hours later, around 9:30 p.m., police received a tip that the couple was in a garage at an apartment on St. Clair Road in Idaho Falls and that Eilander had a gun. Officers responded to the address and took Eilander into custody.

Investigators found a handgun near where he had been sitting in the garage, and the ammunition matched the shell casing found near Eilander’s pickup truck, court documents say.

“In an interview, (Eilander’s girlfriend) advised that she and Eilander had been hanging out by his truck in the parking lot. An unknown male (Ulises Rangel) approached them from the south,” the probable cause document says. “Eilander spoke to Ulises, and Ulises became angry and verbally abusive. He and Eilander got into a heated argument, and (the girlfriend) tried to tell them both to calm down.”

Jake Eilander
Jake D. Eilander, Bonneville County Jail

Eilander’s girlfriend told police he told her to get away before she heard a gunshot. She said she did not see Rangel with a gun or other weapon, and when asked if Eilander shot Rangel, she said “she didn’t want to say anything that would incriminate Eilander.” The girlfriend told officers her boyfriend always had a pistol on or near him.

Eilander refused to speak with investigators and was taken to the Bonneville County Jail.

During his initial court appearance, Bonneville County Prosecuting Attorney Alayne Bean asked Magistrate Judge Michelle Mallard to set bail at $500,000 to ensure Eilander couldn’t leave the area.

“This defendant is currently homeless. The state has information that he was living out of his vehicle, perhaps parking occasionally in the Walmart parking lot or in an area off Grizzly Avenue,” Bean said.

Public defender Alexander Sosa said Eilander is not a flight risk and asked for bail to be $200,000.

Mallard ultimately set bail at $350,000 and mentioned that Eilander has two other felonies on his record from within the past two years. Eilander was charged with felony drug charges in August 2021 and March 2020. He was also arrested and charged with felony arson in September in Jefferson County, but Prosecuting Attorney Mark Taylor dropped the charge.

Eilander is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on April 13.

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