UPDATED 10:00 AM PT — Sunday, June 7, 2020
A California sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot in an ambush Saturday. 38-year-old Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller was reportedly responding to calls about a suspicious van in the Santa Cruz area.
The van fled when officers arrived and fired on officers when followed. Gutzwiller was shot and killed, while another deputy and a CHP officer were also injured.
Sgt Damon Gutzwiller of the @SantaCruzSO1 was shot and died in the line duty today. Our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Gutzwiller’s family, friends, and colleagues.
With heartfelt condolences, the #SantaCruzPolice mourns the loss alongside you.#NeverForget #Deputy #Hero pic.twitter.com/5wyZcOWv0P
— Santa Cruz Police (@SantaCruzPolice) June 7, 2020
Authorities pursued and captured the driver, as well as the alleged shooter Steven Carillo.
According to a local sheriff, this was the worst day he’s experienced on the job yet.
“In this era, when you think about what you want to see in a police officer – passion, caring, somebody who truly loves his job, wants to help people – that’s what Damon wants,” stated Santa Cruz Sheriff Jim Hart. “He was a good man and a good police officer.”
Gutzwiller is survived by his pregnant wife and child.
Carrillo was shot during his capture and is currently being treated for his injuries in the hospital. Authorities confirmed he will be charged with first-degree murder.