Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office Releases Identity of Deputy Shot, Killed Saturday

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The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office has released the identity of a deputy who was shot and killed in the line of duty Saturday afternoon.

Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller was responding to reports of a suspicious van parked near Jamison Creek Road in Boulder Creek. A caller told authorities that the van had guns and bomb making materials in it, a sheriff’s department spokesperson said in a statement.

Responding deputies followed the van to a home on Waldeberg Road in Ben Lomond where they were shot at and attacked with explosive devices.

Gutzwiller, age 38, was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Another deputy was injured by either a gunshot or shrapnel from an explosive device. He was also struck by a car, officials said.

Shortly after the attack on the two deputies, officials said that reports of a carjacking nearby began to come in.

Officers from several agencies responded and took the suspect, Steven Carrillo of Ben Lomond, into custody on suspicion of homicide, carjacking, assault with a deadly weapon and a "myriad of other felonies," officials said. Carrillo was armed and shot while being taken into custody.

Sources said Carrillo has a military background.

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

Gutzwiller was married with a child. He and his wife were also expecting their second child.

The scene in Ben Lomond will remain active through the night.

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