SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – SANTA CRUZ, Calif.An Air Force sergeant and leader in an elite military security force was armed with homemade bombs, an AR-15 rifle and other weapons and had a desire to harm police when he launched a deadly attack on unsuspecting officers, a Northern California sheriff said Monday.
Gunfire and explosives rained down from a hillside Saturday afternoon as Staff Sgt. Steven Carrillo fired from the high ground onto police who scrambled to find cover and defend themselves, Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart said.
“He was very intent on killing these police officers," Hart said at a news conference. “They had no idea that they were about to get into this firefight.”
One of Hart's deputies, Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller, 38, was shot and killed. Another deputy was shot in the chest — his bulletproof vest saving him — and suffered shrapnel wounds from an explosive and then was struck by Carrillo's vehicle as the suspect fled the home.
The deputy, whose name has not been released, was in stable condition and good spirits, Hart said. A California Highway Patrol officer was wounded in the hand.
Carrillo escaped, carjacked a vehicle and tried to carjack several others before being subdued through the herculean efforts of a heroic resident, Hart said.
The man saw Carrillo in his backyard and confronted him. Carrillo, armed with the AR-15, demanded the man's car keys. The man retrieved the keys, gave them to Carrillo and when Carrillo turned away the man tackled him and the rifle fell away from him.
As they struggled, Carrillo pulled a pipe bomb from his pants and tried unsuccessfully to light it. He then pulled out a pistol and the man was able to knock it out of his hands and then subdue him as neighbors came to help, Hart said.