Morgan Hill

Detectives Investigating ‘Ambush' on Deputy as Possible Hate Crime

The shooting happened at the Uvas Reservoir outside Morgan Hill

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A Santa Clara County Sheriff's Deputy is alive following a shooting thanks in part to his body-worn camera. The deputy was involved in an ambush by two men in a car Friday night.

Officials said on Monday they were still searching for the suspects. All deputies and San Jose police officers have been put on high alert because of the so-called ambush. Investigators are looking at the possibility the incident was a hate crime.

Radio traffic that night was alarming, and it was a close call. Investigators said one bullet struck Deputy Sukhdeep Gill's body camera. He suffered non-life threatening injuries and was treated.

"He was very lucky, and very brave under fire," Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said

The deputy had stepped out of his patrol car at the Uvas Reservoir outside of Morgan Hill when two men in a car turned off the headlights, drove up to the deputy, and for whatever reason opened fire.

"This was an ambush," Smith said. "Based on the evidence, it was an unprovoked attack on our deputy, and our suspect are wanted for premeditated attempted murder of a law enforcement officer."

The deputy fired two rounds as the suspects sped away.

Investigators now want to know if the incident was a targeted attack on a police officer or if the attack was a hate crime.

"We're looking at all possibilities," Sheriff's Office Detective Brandon Omori said. "Deputy Gill is a practicing Sikh and he was wearing head dress and garb. We support him and his religious affiliation."

The sheriff's office said it needs the public's help to arrest the suspects, who were in an older model silver Honda Accord.

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