Santa Cruz MP killed, another injured in Ben Lomond ambush – CBS San Francisco


BEN LOMOND (CBS SF) – An assistant veteran of the Santa Cruz county sheriff was killed and a second was seriously injured by an improvised explosive device on Saturday during an “ambush” in the Santa Cruz mountains.Sorrow-stricken Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart said the deceased MP was a 38-year-old sergeant. Damon Gutzwiller, who had been serving since 2006 and was married with a small child and a second child on the way.

“We will deeply miss Damon,” said Hart. “He was a beloved figure in the sheriff’s department. ”

Hart said his agency received a 911 call at 1:30 pm from a suspicious van parked on the road near Jamison Creek.

“The appellant saw rifles and bombs making materials inside the van,” he said.

Gutzwiller and another MP responded and saw the van drive away. They followed him to a house in Ben Lomond. When they got out of their vehicles, they “were ambushed by gunfire and improvised explosive devices”. At 2:36 p.m. a call was made to report a failed officer.

“Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller was shot and taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead,” said Hart. “Another MP was shot or struck by bus shrapnel and hit by a car as the suspect fled the property. We hope the member will recover. ”

The suspect was found by other officers and injured during his arrest.

“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.

Hart said the suspect was taken to hospital for treatment and that he would be charged with first degree murder.

A CHP officer also suffered an arm injury during the incident and was expected to survive.

“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. ”

The district attorney’s office is investigating the matter.


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