A Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputy was saved from serious injury by his body-worn camera and bullet-proof vest when an unknown shooter or shooters fired at him on Uvas Road in Morgan Hill, authorities said.
At a Feb. 3 press conference, sheriff’s officials identified the injured deputy as Sukhdeep Gill, a five-year veteran of the local department. Authorities released photos of Gill’s damaged body camera and his sheriff’s patrol car, which showed at least three bullet holes from the Jan. 31 drive-by shooting that investigators described as an “ambush.”
Gill was treated at a nearby hospital for injuries related to the bullet that struck him in his torso area, where he was wearing his body camera. He was released from the hospital shortly after the incident, and is recovering at home, according to authorities.
Investigators described the Jan. 31 shooting as an “unprovoked attack on our deputy (and) clearly premeditated murder on a law enforcement officer.” Police are still looking for the suspect or suspects and the vehicle from which they shot Gill.
Gill was uniformed and on duty at the time of the Uvas Road shooting, which took place west of Morgan Hill. About 10:32pm, Gill was standing outside his patrol vehicle, which was parked in a turnout on Uvas Road. He was standing near the passenger’s side rear bumper.
The deputy was not on a vehicle stop or any other patrol detail, authorities said.
Another vehicle approached Gill with the headlights turned off. As the vehicle approached, a suspect or suspects fired at least four shots toward Gill, according to investigators. One of the rounds struck Gill in his body camera and body armor, resulting in a non-life threatening injury.
Gill returned fire at the vehicle as it was fleeing northbound on Uvas Road. Investigators do not know if Gill’s return fire hit any suspects or the vehicle. A search of the immediate area and local hospitals has not yielded any leads.
The deputy was unable to provide a description of the suspect or suspects. Gill told investigators that the vehicle was a silver colored 2000s-era sedan, possibly a Honda, authorities said.
The area of Uvas Road where Gill was shot is near Uvas Reservoir. The area surrounding the reservoir is remote and mountainous among the Santa Cruz Mountains foothills.
The sheriff’s office continues to investigate the Jan. 31 shooting. Anyone with information can call Sheriff’s Sgt. Joe Piazza at (408) 808-4510 or (408) 808-4500. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call the tip line at (408) 808-4331.