UNITED STATES—On June 6, Steven Carrillo, the suspect in the fatal shooting of Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputy, Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller, 38, was arrested and taken into custody.  Authorities describe the incident as an ambush in Ben Lomand, California.

According to reports, Sgt. Gutzwiller was responding to a call of a suspicious van that allegedly contained weapons and bomb-making material. During the investigation, the officer’s followed the van to a driveway in Ben Lomand. When officers stepped out of their vehicle, they were ambushed with gunfire and explosives. Sgt. Gutzwiller was shot and taken to an area hospital where he later died.

Carrillo, who is also a sergeant that was stationed at Travis Air Force base in Northern California, was reportedly captured during an attempted carjacking. CBS San Francisco, Len Ramirez reported that Sgt. Carillo was captured in the Santa Cruz mountain area by a resident who wrestled Carrillo to the ground, and disarmed him of an AR-15, a pipe bomb, and a pistol in what the reporter called, “a life or death confrontation.”

Carrillo was shot while being apprehended. He was taken to the hospital where he was treated for his wounds. According to Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, Carrillo is facing a 1st degree murder charge for the shooting death of Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller.


Gutzwiller leaves behind a wife who is only a couple weeks away from delivering the couples, second child. They also have a two-year-old son, named Carter. According to the write up on the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office website, Gutzwiller cared most about was his family.

The Peace Officer Research Association of California put together a Fund a Hero project to support the family Sgt. Gutzwiller leaves behind.