A former Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputy was convicted this week of fabricating a “mysterious” drive-by shooting in which he claimed he was the victim near Morgan Hill nearly four years ago, authorities said. 

Sukhdeep Gill, now 30, has pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge of vandalism and the crime of false report of an emergency in relation to the Jan. 31, 2020, incident, says a press release from Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen’s office. Gill agreed to a sentence of 150 hours of community service and payment of restitution.

Gill also surrendered his certification to the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, permanently barring him from acting as a peace officer in the state again, the DA’s office said. 

Rosen’s office announced the conviction and sentence on Jan. 16. The prosecutor’s office had pursued a felony vandalism charge, but the court reduced the charge to a misdemeanor, says the press release. 

Contrary to what Gill initially told investigators just after the 2020 incident, the former deputy had not been shot by an occupant from a passing car while he was stopped on the side of Uvas Road west of Morgan Hill. Gill, who had been a Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputy for five years at the time, had told authorities that a single bullet from the moving vehicle precisely struck his body-worn camera. 

Investigators determined Gill’s story to be false, according to the DA. 

“I have gone to officers’ funerals after they are shot,” Rosen said. “I hope to never hear again about an officer faking being shot. It’s outrageous, diverts public resources, and dishonors officers who put their lives on the line to protect us.”

About 10:32pm Jan. 31, 2020, Gill hit the emergency broadcast button on his radio while his patrol car was stopped on Uvas Road and stated, “Shots fired! Shots fired!” Officers from the sheriff’s office as well as the Morgan Hill, San Jose and Gilroy police departments responded, according to Rosen’s office. 

Gill told the first officer at the scene that he had parked on the dirt shoulder to urinate during his routine patrol, authorities said. While walking back toward the driver’s side of the patrol car, he claimed he was shot at by the passenger in a silver sedan that turned off its lights as it approached him. 

The deputy at the time reported that he had fired two shots from his handgun toward the suspect vehicle, which ostensibly fled on Uvas Road, says the DA’s press release. 

Further investigation found evidence, including ballistics, “that exposed serious discrepancies” in Gill’s account, the DA’s office said. 

The sheriff’s office shortly after the incident reported that Gill had been treated at a nearby hospital for injuries suffered in relation to the alleged drive-by shooting. The DA’s Jan. 16 press release does not offer details on how Gill may have been injured. 

Previous articleLocal Scene: Preschool information night Feb. 5
Next articleSobrato’s Lim signs to compete at UC Davis
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here