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Santa Cruz deputy killed, 2 other officers shot in ambush by Travis Air Force Base sergeant

Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller of the Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office was shot and killed Saturday after he was ambushed by a suspect.

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Authorities say a Northern California sheriff’s deputy was killed and two other law enforcement officers were wounded when they were ambushed by a suspect who is a member of the U.S. military.

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart said Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller, 38, was shot and killed Saturday afternoon in Ben Lomond, an unincorporated area near Santa Cruz. A second deputy was injured, and a third officer from the California Highway Patrol was shot in his hand. Hart said the suspect, Steven Carrillo, 38, was shot during the arrest and is being treated at the hospital. 

Hart said police were ambushed with explosives and gunfire when they approached Carillo's home.  The U.S. Air Force confirmed Sunday that the suspect was an active duty sergeant stationed at Travis Air Force Base.

According to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office, Gutzwiller is survived by his wife and children. He was a, "courageous, intelligent, sensitive and a caring man." 

“Words cannot express the pain we feel for Damon and his family,” Sheriff Jim Hart said in the Facebook post. “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 mourn with his family.”

The FBI is working with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department to determine if there is any connection between this incident and other recent crimes committed in the Bay Area, including the recent shooting death of a federal officer in Oakland.


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