Bullet or Rock? Sheriff's Deputy Car Hit on Highway 85

The deputy wasn’t injured, but the incident has left a lot of unanswered questions

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Was it a bullet, or a rock, or something else?

That's the question the CHP is trying to answer after a Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Deputy said he was shot at while driving on the freeway.

The deputy wasn’t injured, but the incident has left a lot of unanswered questions. 

The incident happened along southbound Highway 85. The patrol cruiser at the center of the debate was parked outside the western substation in Cupertino Monday. And above the windshield was the troubling dent. 

A dent some believe was left by a bullet. 

The CHP on Friday said they believe the car was hit with “some sort of projectile … possibly a rock.” 

“That’s a bullet,” said Mark Garcia, retired sheriff's lieutenant. “That’s a bullet, that’s not a rock.”

Garcia admits he’s not a ballistics expert, but he has a lot of experience with gunfire, after his own patrol car was repeatedly hit by rounds from an AK-47 in 1996.

The attack on his car happened while he was stopped. This latest mystery happened while a deputy was driving on the freeway last week.

“It didn’t crack the window because it ricocheted,” said Garcia. “It was at high speeds, that’s like skipping rocks on water.”  

Sources said an email was sent out to the deputies at the substation alerting them to the incident.

But they haven’t heard much else about the case.

That has some wondering if the incident is being downplayed because of what happened to former deputy Sukhdeep Gill two years ago.

Gill was ultimately arrested after investigators determined he faked his own shooting.

“Maybe, no pun intended, but gun shy years later a similar account to what happened to somebody out in the field,” said Garcia.

The sheriff’s office referred NBC Bay Area to the CHP after asking about the case.

After canceling an interview this morning, the CHP said they couldn’t comment any further, because the new incident is an active investigation.

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