Skip to main content

Sheriff’s Deputy Charged with Fabricating ‘Ambush’ on Dark Road


Sukhdeep Gill, a deputy in Santa Clara County, California, staged getting shot last year, leading to his arrest on Friday, the local district attorney’s office said. Gill is accused of making up a harrowing scenario where he miraculously survived an ambush on a dark, rural road.

“This case is bewildering and deeply disappointing,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “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.”

The arrest happened almost a year to the day of the January 31, 2020 incident. The original, heroic account wouldn’t be out of place in an action movie. According to the original story, Gill was on patrol that night, pulled over his SUV, and stepped out. A vehicle approached, but the headlights turned off.  Someone shot at Gill from the suspect vehicle four times. He was struck in the chest, but miraculously, the bullet hit his body cam which was in front of his body armor, according to the story in Mercury News. He fired twice at the fleeing suspect vehicle.

“Shots fired!” he exclaimed to emergency dispatchers. “Shots fired!”

There was radio silence for two minutes after he seemed to have fallen down an embankment. But all told, he was pretty much fine.

Sheriff Laurie Smith called this an “ambush.”

“Any one of those rounds could have hit him anywhere,” she said. “He was very brave under fire.”

Now there’s a different story: There was no bravery, just lies.

According to officials, Gill told an officer he had parked to urinate during his patrol. He was walking back to his vehicle when a passenger in a silver sedan shot at him. But investigators said evidence, such as ballistics, contradicted Gill’s story. They did not elaborate on the precise nature of this evidence. Nonetheless, they suggest it was enough for them to press charges for felony vandalism, and the misdemeanor crime of falsely reporting a crime.

“Deputy Gill is out of custody and on paid administrative leave,” the defendant’s lawyer Nicole Pifari said in a statement to Law&Crime. “I do not have much information to share this you at this time, because we are still waiting to see the reports and discovery. We are looking forward to getting those things so we can understand why he has been charged.”

[Screengrab via KPIX]

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime: