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Sikh American Deputy Sheriff Survives as Bullet Hits Body Camera

Two suspects fired four shots at Deputy Sheriff Sukhdeep Gill

The bullet hit Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Deputy Gill’s body camera (Photo by: Santa Clara CountySheriff’s Office)

SANTA CLARA, CA- An Indian Sikh American Santa Clara County, California Deputy Sheriff was shot at four times Jan. 31 evening at a rural road, and survived as a bullet ricocheted off of his body camera, according to law enforcement officials.

According to several news reports, Deputy Sheriff Sukhdeep Gill, who has served with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department for five years, was patrolling on the Uvas Reservoir in Morgan Hill, Calif., on the night of the incident. At some point, the deputy got out of his car and began to patrol on foot.

A car approached the officer, who wears a turban. As it got closer, the driver turned off the lights. Two suspects, both believed to be male, got out the silver Honda Accord and fired four shots at Gill. One bullet, targeted at his chest, hit his body camera and ricocheted off. Gill fired back at the fleeing suspects, then called emergency dispatch yelling “shots fired, shots fired,” as he fell into an embankment on the reservoir. He managed to crawl back up to the roadway and reported additional information to emergency dispatch. “I think I’ve been hit,” he told dispatchers.

Gill was also wearing a bullet-proof vest. He was treated for injuries at a hospital, and is now recovering at home.

Santa Clara Sheriff Lt. Lt. Brendan Omori said that Gill is a practicing Sikh and wears a traditional headdress on duty, but it was too early to determine whether the shooting constitutes a hate crime.

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