At approximately 1:30pm on Saturday, June 6, 2020, the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office received a call reporting a suspicious van in a turnout near Jamison Creek Road in Boulder Creek. The caller reported guns and bomb making materials were visible inside the van.
As deputies arrived on scene they witnessed the van leaving the area driven by a man later identified as Steven Carrillo. They followed the vehicle to a home on Waldeberg Road in Ben Lomond where they were ambushed by gunfire and multiple improvised explosive devices. Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller was struck by gunfire and, tragically, his injuries were not survivable. A second deputy was wounded by gunfire or shrapnel and struck by a vehicle as the suspect fled the scene. A California Highway Patrol Officer was also struck in the hand by gunfire.
Multiple responding agencies pursued Carrillo after receiving a report of a nearby carjacking. Carrillo, wounded while being placed under arrest, was treated at the hospital and released into custody. He will be charged with the first-degree murder of Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller and multiple additional felonies.
Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller, age 38, was a 14-year veteran of Santa Cruz Co. Sheriff’s Office currently serving as a Patrol Supervisor. Sheriff Jim Hart described him as courageous, intelligent, sensitive, and a caring man. Sergeant Gutzwiller is survived by his wife and their young child. His wife is pregnant with their second child.
In the early morning hours of April 2, 2020, Deputy Terrell Young, a 15-year veteran of the Riverside Sheriff’s Department, passed away from complications related to the COVID-19 virus.
Deputy Young had been assigned to the Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta. At the time, 18 inmates tested positive for COVID-19. During the week of March 16, 2020 Deputy Young escorted a COVID-19 positive inmate to the Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno Valley. Deputy Young returned the inmate to his cell at the detention center that same day. On March 22, Deputy Young arrived at his work station at the jail and fell ill, reporting a fever. On March 26, Deputy Young was diagnosed as COVID-19 positive. On March 27, Deputy Young was admitted to the intensive care unit at Loma Linda Hospital in Murrieta with complaints of respiratory distress. He was subsequently diagnosed with respiratory failure and placed on a mechanical ventilator. On April 2, Deputy Young developed bradycardia. Although ICU personnel attempted advanced lifesaving measures, Deputy Young tragically passed away at 0330.
Deputy Terrell Young, age 52, is survived by his wife of 31 years and four children.
In the early morning hours of Wednesday, October 23, 2019, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office received a request for service for suspected theft at a residential marijuana grow in the area of Sand Ridge Road and Mt. Aukumn Road in Somerset. Deputy Brian Ishmael responded to the call and was immediately ambushed and struck by gunfire. Deputy Ishmael’s ride-along, an off-duty Deputy from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, returned fire, striking one of the suspects and also taking gunfire himself. Tragically, Deputy Ishmael’s injuries were not survivable. The SJSO Deputy underwent surgery and was released from the hospital.
The wounded male suspect was transported to the hospital and a second suspect was taken into custody as deputies continued to search the area for any remaining suspects. The investigation determined the person who requested service had a business relationship with the two suspects and was not truthful with dispatchers in his initial 911 call. That individual was arrested and charged with murder. The other two suspects have been charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon, and accessory to murder, respectively.
Deputy Brian Ishmael, age 37, was a 4-year veteran with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office and previously served two years with the Placerville Police Department. Deputy Ishmael is survived by his wife and three children.
The CAHP Credit Union has established a memorial fund for the Ishmael family: https://cahpcu.org/DeputyBrianIshmaelMemorialFund?fbclid=IwAR0sBBLGvl2vsO6cZbLuQ2CSSrpBPCY5mDOssXan8ZLeWX3mtb2mrNN4ypg
Donations can also be sent to:
Deputy Brian Ishmael Memorial Fund
PO Box 276507
Sacramento, CA 95827
At approximately 5:37pm on Monday, August 12, 2019, Officer Andre Moye, Jr., of the CHP Riverside Area Office conducted a traffic stop on a white GMC truck in the area of Box Springs Boulevard and Eastridge Avenue, just west of Interstate 215.
During the traffic stop Officer Moye determined the truck should be impounded. As Officer Moye processed the paperwork and called for a tow, the driver returned to his vehicle, retrieved a rifle, and opened fire on Officer Moye. Despite suffering life threatening wounds, Officer Moye was able to call for backup. Three CHP officers arrived on scene and immediately engaged the suspect. Two of those officers were struck by gunfire. Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies and Riverside Police officers also responded to the scene, exchanging gunfire with the suspect. “It was a long and horrific gun battle, and resulted in a very extensive crime scene,” said Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz.
The suspect was killed at the scene. He was later identified as 49-year old Aaron Luther, a member of the Vagos motorcycle gang.
Officer Moye was airlifted to Riverside University Health System Medical Center. Tragically, he succumbed to his injuries in flight. The two wounded CHP officers are expected to recover.
Officer Andre Moye, age 33, was assigned to the Riverside office after graduating from the CHP Academy on March 3, 2017. He previously worked as an electrician, but had dreamed of being an officer since he was a child. He is survived by his wife, Sara, his parents, siblings, and large extended family.
Additional details and funeral information will be provided as available.
On the afternoon of April 21, 2018, Officer Gallegos and another officer were attempting to search an inmate in the day room of the Kern Valley State Prison’s Minimum Support Facility when the inmate became combative and attacked the two officers. Up to 11 additional inmates joined the assault and continued to severely beat both officers. Responding officers intervened with physical force and pepper spray. All inmates were eventually subdued. Officer Gallegos was transported to a local hospital suffering from severe injuries to his face, head and neck, including a fractured vertebrae. After an extended hospital stay and rehabilitation, Officer Gallegos returned to his home for additional recuperation. While at his residence, he suffered complications from the injuries and collapsed. Consequently, he was transported via ambulance to the hospital where he succumbed to the trauma and passed away.
Officer Gallegos, age 56, was born in Hanford and was one of 10 siblings. He graduated from Corcoran High School in 1980 and enlisted in the United States Navy a few years later. He served his country for 20 years and earned several accolades, including the National Service Defense Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and the Kuwait Liberation Medal. Officer Gallegos began his career at Kern Valley State Prison in Delano after graduating from the Basic Correctional Officer Academy in 2005.
Officer Gallegos is survived by his wife of 19 years, Irma Gallegos, as well as many family members and friends.
On Wednesday, June 19, 2019, Sacramento Police Department Officers received reports of a domestic disturbance between a man and a woman at a home in north Sacramento near Edgewater Road and Redwood Avenue. Later that afternoon officers were assisting the woman with retrieving her belongings from the home when at approximately 6:10pm the man entered the home and opened fire with a rifle. Officer Tara O’Sullivan was struck and went down in a yard. Other officers on scene were forced to take cover and could not immediately get to Officer O’Sullivan. An armored vehicle was dispatched to assist and Officer O’Sullivan was transported to UC Davis Medical Center, where despite heroic efforts by all, she succumbed to her injuries.
A standoff ensued into the early morning hours of June 20th with the suspect firing at officers numerous times before ultimately surrendering.
Officer O’Sullivan, age 26, was part of the first class of graduates of Sacramento State’s Law Enforcement Candidate Scholars program in 2017. She then joined the Sacramento Police Department in January 2018 and was accepted into the police academy in July 2018, She graduated from the academy in December 2018.
On October 2, 1937, Deputy Sheriff Henry V. Snowbelt was off duty playing cards with his wife and two friends at the Wheeler Café in Lower Lake.
Unbeknownst to them, earlier in the evening a belligerent ex-convict had been removed from Millsap’s restaurant by the owner and a patron. The subject later confronted the patron at a pool hall, where he reportedly stated, “I’ve got you now, I’m going to shoot you.” The subject fired his rifle, seriously wounding the patron.
Still armed, the gunman eventually made his way to Wheeler Café. A customer attempted to talk the subject into relinquishing his rifle. Deputy Snowbelt left to retrieve a weapon and upon returning to the café, ordered the subject to put his gun down and his hands up. Instead of complying, the subject raised his rifle and fired, striking Deputy Snowbelt in the heart. Simultaneously Deputy Snowbelt fired twice, hitting the subject in his arm and heart. Deputy Snowbelt and the ex-convict died instantly.
Deputy Snowbelt was survived by his wife, Amelia, and daughter, Thelma.
On November 15, 1913, Deputy City Marshal Maurice W. Halloran was shot and killed while questioning two suspicious men who had entered a liquor store at 2000 East Vernon Avenue.
Deputy Marshal Halloran was already inside the establishment when the two men entered and approached the store counter to purchase alcohol. While waiting for the store clerk, one of the subjects vandalized the wood counter with a pocket knife. Deputy Marshal Halloran confronted the man about the vandalism, prompting the two men to curse at him and then leave. Attempting to further address the subjects, Deputy Marshal Halloran followed them outside and, without warning, one of the men produced a handgun and shot Halloran multiple times. Deputy Marshal Halloran later died at the hospital. Both subjects fled the scene but were ultimately arrested and charged with the murder of a peace officer. Both men were convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
Deputy Marshal Halloran was survived by his parents, three brothers, and two sisters.
At approximately 4:26pm on April 6, 2019, Sergeant Steve Licon, a CHP motorcycle officer from the Riverside Area Office, was conducting a traffic stop on the 15 Freeway near Nichols Road in Lake Elsinore. He was positioned on the shoulder of the highway behind a Chrysler sedan, when a Toyota Corolla crashed into his motorcycle. Sergeant Licon was airlifted to Inland Valley Regional Medical Center suffering major injuries. Tragically, his injuries were not survivable.
The driver of the Toyota was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
Sergeant Licon, age 53, was a 27-year veteran of the CHP, planning to retire next year. He is survived by his wife, Ann, and daughters Marissa and Kelly.
At approximately 6:45pm on January 10, 2019, Officer Natalie Corona of the Davis Police Department responded to a traffic collision near 5th and C Streets in downtown Davis. A suspect approached the scene and opened fire, striking Officer Corona. Firefighters from a station directly across the incident scene responded immediately and began life-saving efforts. Officer Corona was then transported to UC Davis Medical Center where, tragically, she succumbed to her injuries.
The suspect ran from the scene, prompting a manhunt throughout downtown Davis. Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to assist, surrounding a home near 5th and E Streets. Just before 1:00am, officers entered the home where they found the suspect dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Officer Natalie Corona, age 22, graduated from the police academy in July 2018, and completed field training shortly before Christmas. She is described as an eager rookie who started with the department in 2016 as a Community Service Officer. Officer Corona is survived by her parents. This is the first Line of Duty loss in 60 years for the Davis Police Department.