A California sheriff’s deputy was charged Friday for staging a drive-by shooting last January, according to a release from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
Deputy Sukhdeep Gill of Santa Clara County claimed he was ambushed by a passing car while stopping on the side of the road to urinate during a routine patrol last year. He alleged he was shot, and soon afterward used the emergency broadcast button to indicate that there had been gunfire. The incident triggered a manhunt for the alleged assailant.
At the time of the incident, officers responded from the sheriff’s office and San Jose, Morgan Hill and Gilroy police departments.
Responding officers noted last year that Gill had no serious injuries following the alleged incident. The only damage appeared to be to his body camera, where he claimed he was shot.
Gill also stated that he had fired back at a silver sedan that had been there as it fled from the scene.
However, an investigation into the incident found serious “discrepancies in the deputy’s account,” and a warrant was issued for Gill, leading to his Friday arrest.
The officer, who has been with the department since 2016, is being charged with felony vandalism and falsely reporting a crime.
“This case is bewildering and deeply disappointing,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in the 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.”