Sergeant Damon Christopher Gutzwiller

Sergeant Damon Christopher Gutzwiller

Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office, California

End of Watch Saturday, June 6, 2020

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Damon Christopher Gutzwiller

Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller was shot and killed as he and other deputies investigated reports of a suspicious vehicle.

Deputies had originally responded to reports of a suspicious vehicle that contained guns and bomb-making materials in the area of Jamison Creek in Boulder Creek. As they arrived at the scene, they observed the van driving away and followed it to a home on Waldeberg Drive in the Ben Lomond area. The vehicle pulled into the driveway, and the occupant immediately ambushed the deputies with firearms and improvised explosive devices.

Sergeant Gutzwiller was killed, and the other deputy was wounded. The subject then carjacked a vehicle and fled the area. He was located a short time later and engaged officers in another shootout. A California Highway Patrol officer and the subject were both wounded before the man was taken into custody.

On August 2022, the subject was sentenced to life in prison without the option of parole or appeal after accepting a plea agreement.

Sergeant Gutzwiller had served with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office for 14 years. He is survived by his expectant wife and young child.


  • Age 38
  • Tour 14 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Shot and wounded

bomb, suspicious vehicle, ambush

Most Recent Reflection

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This Gentleman made one heck of an impression on me. My small cabin had been broken into in Ben Lomond. I called The Sheriffs Department & a short time later he showed up with a couple of other Deputies. They spent several hours at the cabin taking fingerprints, went into the Redwoods with flashlights finding several pieces of jewelry that the Criminals had dropped as they fled the crime scene. The next morning I was on my Road Bike up the coast about 35 miles from Santa Cruz, when I received a phone call. It was Sgt Gutzwiller telling me that he thought they had found the People that had broken into my Cabin. I told him where I was, he said he would pick me up which he did shortly. He put my Bike in the back of the Police car and we proceeded back up the Road too Bolder Creek where the Suspects were being detained. I’m thinking we’re going too a Sub Station where I can identify them. This drive up hill took about 40 minutes which gave us time to chat a bit. He told me how much he Loved his job his Family and his Daughter, I shared with him the Tears of Joy of seeing my Daughter being born. He told me he had experienced the same tears of Joy when he had seen his child take there first Breath. You know sometimes when you know you’ve met someone Special that you will remember for ever. That was the impression he made on me that morning. We got too Bolder Creek and I identified one the Suspects a young girl of 17 years old. We proceeded to talk to each other for the next couple of weeks. He put me in touch with her Probation officer. They were able to get her into a Rehabilitation Center because of his efforts. He went beyond and above his job in the effort he put out those day’s after the Breakin at my Cabin. This morning I was reading the L A Time and there was an article about his Murder and felt compelled too share my meeting this Man who made a Difference in soo many lives. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts and feeling. God Bless his wife and Children. You can be proud knowing he made a difference in everyone he came in Contact with in 24 years of Service as a Sheriff in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Steve Murga

February 14, 2022

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