An assistant to the Santa Cruz sheriff was killed and two other police officers were injured after being ambushed in pursuit of a suspect. They were subjected to heavy fire and were blocked by several improvised explosives after leaving their vehicle.
The 38-year-old sergeant. Damon Gutzwiller was murdered in Ben Lomond, a mountain town in Santa Cruz, California, while responding to a 911 call at approximately 1:30 p.m. about a suspicious van near Jamison Creek in Boulder Creek, reports CBS. The appellant reportedly told the dispatcher that there were firearms and explosives in the vehicle.
As soon as the vehicle arrived, Gutzwiller and the two deputies were immediately ambushed by gunfire and explosives in the heavily wooded residential area. Gutzwiller was seriously injured and died in hospital. The other MP, who has yet to be identified by the police, was injured in the hand by gunshots or bus shrapnel. The third deputy was struck by the suspect’s vehicle as he fled.
“In 32 years of my career, this has been the worst day I have ever had,” said Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart.
“Damon showed up today to do his job, to keep our community safe, and his life was needlessly lost,” added Hart. “It is a difficult thing to deal with. “
Hart described Gutzwiller as a “real hero,” who was loved by his colleagues.
The suspect has since been identified as a 38-year-old man, Steven Carrillo, who was shot in an ambush attempt against the police and who is being treated for life-threatening injuries in a hospital. Police say Carrillo, who was armed, was shot after trying to hijack a vehicle.
“Calls for a nearby car hijacking followed shortly after agents from Santa Cruz County departments began arriving in the area, many of whom were involved in the arrest of the suspect, Steven Carrillo, who was allegedly was armed, was gunned down during his arrest, “Hart told me.
Carrillo will be charged with first degree murder and other crimes.
The FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies are investigating.
“Words cannot express the pain we feel for Damon and his family,” said Hart, “He was the kind of person we all hope to be. Today we lost a hero. We are grateful to have known him and we cry with his family. “