A Northern California sheriff’s deputy was killed and two law enforcement officers wounded Saturday when they were ambushed with gunfire and explosives while pursuing a suspect, authorities said.
The U. S. Air Force confirmed Sunday that the suspect was an active duty sergeant stationed at Travis Air Force Base.
Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller, 38, was shot and killed in Ben Lomond, an unincorporated area near Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart said. A second deputy was injured, and a third officer from the California Highway Patrol was shot in his hand, Hart said.
Gutzwiller “was a beloved figure here at the sheriff’s office, ” the sheriff said.
“Damon showed up today to do his job, to keep this community safe, and his life was taken needlessly, " a visibly shaken Hart said.
The suspect, Steven Carrillo, 32, was shot during his arrest and was being treated at the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, Hart said. The Sheriff's Department and the FBI are investigating.
A Travis Air Force Base spokesman confirmed Sunday that Carrillo had arrived at Travis Air Force Base in June 2018 and was a member of the 60th Security Forces Squadron. Carrillo’s wife Monika Leigh Scott Carrillo, who was also in the Air Force, was found dead in an off-base hotel in May 2018 while she was stationed in South Carolina. She was 30. Her death was investigated by the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, in coordination with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and ruled a suicide, according to the Air Force.
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