California Deputy Said He Was Shot In Line Of Duty. He Shot Himself.


On January 31, 2020, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Deputy Sukhdeep Gill radioed for help after getting ambushed and shot on a dark rural road.

“Shots fired! Shots fired!” Gill yelled into the radio around 10:30 p.m., prompting officers from the SCCSO and San Jose, Morgan Hill, and Gilroy police departments to respond. Gill told the first officer to arrive that he had parked on the side of the road so that he could urinate while he was on patrol. He said that when he was walking back to his patrol car, a silver sedan with its headlights turned off drove up alongside and the passenger of the vehicle shot him. Gill was coincidentally shot right where his body camera was placed – destroying it – and told the responding officer that he fired two shots in the direction of the fleeing vehicle, according to a news release from the SCCSO.The Sheriff’s office said Gill’s allegations “triggered a manhunt for the shooter” before the deputy’s story fell apart.

Gill, according to the New York post, “claimed his body camera saved him from the bullet.” At a news conference shortly after the alleged attack, Sheriff Laurie Smith said it “was an unprovoked attack, it was an ambush.”

Gill’s story began to crumble shortly after he made the allegations, when recovered ballistics and other evidence didn’t support his claims.“The facts weren’t adding up,” said Sgt. Michael Low, according to CBS San Francisco.

“Anytime we have an instance like this that hurts our reputation and our trust with the community, it’s tough,” Low said. “We are disappointed.”

Gill surrendered on Friday after a warrant was issued for his arrest, CBS reported. He was charged with felony vandalism and a misdemeanor count of filing a false police report. Police allege he staged the ambush and shot himself to sell the story.

Steven Clark, a legal analyst and former Santa Clara county deputy district attorney, wondered why Gill would make up something like this.

“The obvious question becomes, ‘Why would an officer do something like this?’” Clark told CBS. “Why would you concoct a story that good detectives are going to unravel.”

“Officers responding to this call thought they were going to the scene of a potential cop killing. That’s a very difficult mindset for these officers and it could’ve resulted in very tragic outcomes and innocent people could’ve died,” he added.

“I think the big mystery here moving forward is what information was on that body camera, why did he destroy that, that’s a question that police are going to want answers to,” Clark told the outlet. “Every one of the cases he’s worked on now to this point will be looked at and are in jeopardy because his credibility is called into question.”

Gill has worked for the SCCSO since 2015 and maintains his innocence.

“This case is bewildering and deeply disappointing,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “Deputy Gill’s actions abused the trust of his fellow officers and diverted public safety resources away from protecting the community to investigate a made-up crime.”

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