Deputy Charged With Staging Drive-By Shooting

A South Bay police officer who reported being shot almost exactly a year ago in a drive-by was arrested today for allegedly making up the whole story.

Prosecutors say 27-year-old Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Deputy Sukhdeep Gill staged a “shocking ambush” to make it seem like he was struck by a bullet from a passing car on a dark rural road around Morgan Hill.

Responding officers reportedly found no serious injuries on Gill, however.

“It appeared he had been shot only once, and in a miraculous spot—his body-worn camera, which was destroyed,” according to a press release from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. The deputy’s story “fell apart” during an investigation into the incident, the announcement went on to state.

Now, the five-year Sheriff’s Office veteran faces one count of felony vandalism and a misdemeanor charge of falsely reporting a crime. If convicted, he could serve prison time. “This case is bewildering and deeply disappointing,” DA Jeff Rosen said in a news release. “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.”

Authorities from the DA’s and Sheriff’s Office say the incident took place around 10:30pm on Jan. 31, 2020, when Gill hit the emergency broadcast button on his department-issued radio and declared, “Shots fired! Shots fired!”

Officers from the Sheriff’s Office responded along with their counterparts from the San Jose, Morgan Hill and Gilroy police departments. Gill reportedly told the first officer who showed up that he had pulled over on the side of the road during a routine patrol to take a leak. While walking back to his car, he allegedly said, he was shot at by someone from the passenger seat of a silver sedan that shut its lights off as it approached.

Per the DA, Gill said he fired two shots in return and that the vehicle fled down Uvas Road. “An investigation found evidence, including ballistics, that exposed serious discrepancies in the deputy’s account,” the DA’s press release stated.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Gill was placed on paid leave for the duration of the criminal and administrative investigations. The probe was eventually referred to the DA, which decided to file formal charges.

An arrest warrant was issued and served today. Gill was reportedly booked into the Main Jail in San Jose “without incident,” according to the Sheriff’s Office.

“If the allegations hold true,” the Sheriff’s Office wrote in a bulletin sent to reporters about the arrest, “Deputy Gill’s actions are not representative of the upstanding men and women of the Sheriff’s Office who risk their lives every day to serve and protect our community with honesty and integrity.”

Jennifer Wadsworth is the news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

12 Comments

  1. Then some people say I need to take meds. It is some of these police officers, deputies, and other top leaders officials who need serious and mental health support. The lack of moral and professional standards are the norm in Santa Clara County Offices and Departments! Talk about Raj Jayadev!

  2. > Then some people say I need to take meds. It is some of these police officers, deputies, and other top leaders officials who need serious and mental health support.

    I’m against binary thinking.

    Binary thinking is primitive thinking and biases people into thinking that they have to chose one side or the other.

    If you reject binary thinking and allow yourself to think multidimensionally, then you can believe that BOTH Fexxy AND Deputy Gill need to take their meds.

  3. Ha ha, that is funny Bubble. I have never met medical criteria not even for therapy. Insurance don’t pay for any treatment unless you meet the medical criteria.

  4. Can we go beyond Ms. Wadsworth’s informal quote of the offender’s account?

    Why did he do this? Did he want attention and sympathy, a medical disability early retirement and pension, generously paid time off for recuperation, what?

  5. This is a really sad story for our honorable and dutiful law enforcement family to endure.
    David S. Wall

  6. Agree yet the sloths will crawl out from under their rock to say that all 800,000 cops working in our nation are dirt.

  7. “Why did he do this? Did he want attention and sympathy, a medical disability early retirement and pension, generously paid time off for recuperation, what? — NOT SUCKERED

    1. Attention — possibly.
    2. Disability out (after realizing he wasn’t cut out for the work) — possibly.
    3. To cover up the accidental discharge of his sidearm — probable.

    If #1, he will not be the first to have turned to this, thankfully rare, strategy.
    If #2, his is only the worst of the many schemes used by the scoundrels who exploit benefits designed to aid the noble and deserving.
    If #3, then you have to wonder about this young man’s upbringing and his ability to accept, as opposed to escaping, consequences (which for an accidental discharge would likely have been a short suspension and a long embarrassment).

  8. > If #3, then you have to wonder about this young man’s upbringing and his ability to accept, as opposed to escaping, consequences

    You said it!

    We have to worry about A LOT OF PEOPLE’S UPBRINGING!

  9. I thought police officers and deputies had a grooming code ie no beards or head gear. Saw some other pics of this clown on duty and he had some hair piece on. I wonder if female officers will be allowed to wear head coverings too. I think it would only be fair in the name of identity politics and fairness.

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