CRIME

FBI Looks For Link Between 2 Ambush Killings Of Officers

Jun 7, 2020, 3:24 PM | Updated: Nov 2, 2022, 6:45 pm
Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller with the Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office. (Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office/Facebo...
Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller with the Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office. (Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office/Facebook)
(Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office/Facebook)

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) — The FBI and local investigators are trying to determine a possible link between the ambush-style killing of a Northern California sheriff’s deputy Saturday night and that of a federal officer who was fatally shot outside the U.S. courthouse in Oakland more than a week ago.

The FBI office in San Francisco confirmed Sunday its investigators were working with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department to determine a possible motive, and links to other crimes committed in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the attack that killed a Federal Protection Service officer and critically wounded another officer on May 29. Both involved shooters in a van.

An active-duty U.S. Air Force sergeant has been arrested on suspicion of fatally shooting Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller, 38, and wounding two other officers Saturday.

Gutzwiller “was a beloved figure here at the sheriff’s office,” Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart 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.

On Saturday, deputies responded to a 911 call around 1:30 p.m. about a suspicious van in Ben Lomond — an unincorporated area near Santa Cruz. The caller said there were guns and bomb-making devices inside, Hart said.

When deputies arrived, the van pulled away and the deputies followed. The van went down a driveway at a home and the deputies were ambushed by gunfire and explosives after getting out of their vehicle.

Gutzwiller was wounded and later died at a hospital. Another deputy was wounded by gunfire or shrapnel and struck by a vehicle as the suspect fled. A third officer from the California Highway Patrol was shot in his hand, Hart said.

The suspect, 32-year-old Steven Carrillo, attempted a carjacking and also was shot during his arrest, Hart said. He was being treated at the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

Hart said Carrillo will be charged with first-degree murder.

Carrillo had arrived at Travis Air Force Base, 50 miles (81 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco, in June 2018 and was a member of the 60th Security Forces Squadron, a base spokesman said. 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.

The FBI has been trying to identify a suspect and motive in the drive-by shooting outside the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building that killed Dave Patrick Underwood, 53, and critically wounded another contracted security officer employed by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service. They had been monitoring a nearby protest over the death of George Floyd.

Surveillance cameras captured a white Ford van believed to be driven by the shooter or shooters. The FBI said the vehicle did not appear to have license plates.

Gov. Gavin Newsom extended condolences to Gutzwiller’s family and ordered flags at the Capitol to be flown at half-staff in honor of the slain deputy.

“He will be remembered as a hero who devoted his life to protecting the community and as a loving husband and father,” Newsom said in a statement.

The shooting shocked Ben Lomond, a town of about 6,000 people tucked up in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Resident Kathy Crocker brought a bouquet to the sheriff’s office as Hart gave a news conference about the shootings.

“It just breaks my heart that this keeps happening,” she said, as teary-eyed deputies entered the building.

The sheriff’s office will hold a vigil Sunday at 2:26 p.m., the time they received the call Saturday that Gutzwiller had been shot.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Crime

police cars lined up by school...
Brooke Williams

UPDATE: Students released after shots fired at Taylorsville High School

Gunshots were fired in the parking lot of Taylorsville High School Thursday afternoon.
15 hours ago
(Taylorsville Police Department)...
Keira Farrimond and Daniella Rivera

Questions surround convicted rapist’s release as police investigate aggravated sexual assault

Despite admitted anger issues and a recent history of assault, Utah’s Board of Pardons and Parole released a convicted rapist back into the community last month. Now, he is charged with aggravated rape in an attack on a Taylorsville woman he communicated with while in prison.
15 hours ago
A police officer walks by a crime scene trailer that is sitting outside the home of Michael Haight ...
Pat Reavy

Slain Enoch girl texted friend that dad was acting strange and she was worried

A warrant unsealed in Enoch says one of Michael Haight's daughters texted a friend the night before her family was found dead saying her father was acting strange and she was worried.
15 hours ago
Chunli Zhao appears for his arraignment at San Mateo Superior court in Redwood City, Calif., on Wed...
Olga R. Rodriguez and Jocelyn Gecker, Associated Press

Suspect in Half Moon Bay farm killings faces 7 murder counts

A farmworker accused of killing seven people in shootings at two Northern California mushroom farms has been charged with seven counts of murder.
15 hours ago
FILE PHOTO...
Pat Reavy

Warrant issued for former youth treatment staff member in southern Utah

An arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for a woman who police say showed explicit pictures to teenagers at youth treatment centers in southern Utah where she was employed.
15 hours ago
Victims can text or call 911 even without cell service. (KSL TV)...
Shelby Lofton

Police urging safety conversations after a series of kidnappings

As authorities investigate a series of kidnappings, police say it's critical we talk to our children about safety often.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
FBI Looks For Link Between 2 Ambush Killings Of Officers