Hundreds of heartbroken mourners gathered at the Cabrillo College Football field Wednesday to bid farewell to North California Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller, who was killed in an ambush in the line of duty on June 6.
Governor Gavin Newsome, who also met the family before the service, gave special permission to hold the memorial at the state’s tough shelter-in-place order originally aimed at battling the Coronavirus outbreak.
The service was carried out with all possible precautions.
Many law enforcement officers, adorned in the blue and green uniform, from across the state, residents, family, and friends assembled at the ground to pay homage to Damon and a fellow deputy officer, Alex Spencer who was killed in a hail of gunfire by Steven Carrillo near Ben Lomond.
“It was a bad call,” said Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart. “What the deputies and CHP did that day saved many, many lives.”
Hart, who had recruited Gutzwiller in 2006, asserted with immense fondness that the latter was the ideal representative of police what a community might expect one to be.
“He was the kind of person we all hope to be. Today, we lost a hero. We are grateful to have known him and we mourn with his family”, his voice crackling with emotions.
These charges carry with them a death sentence.
Prosecutors have confirmed Carrillo’s connection to an extreme right-wing anti-government and anti-law enforcement group who anticipate a second American Civil War, known as the ‘Boogaloo Movement’.