Attorney says man accused of killing deputy in Santa Cruz Co. has traumatic brain injury

BEN LOMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- Friday we got our first look at the man accused of killing a Santa Cruz County Sheriff's deputy and attempting to kill four other policemen and a civilian.

Steven Carrillo spoke over video conferencing during his arraignment, responding "yes sir" when the judge asked his name.

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Prosecutors say they are still deciding whether to seek the death penalty.

"The initial ambush of the officers was just that, an ambush. This individual then waited, other officers arrived at the scene, ambushed them by shooting at them, and literally came up behind their car and ambushed them and tried to murder both of those individuals," said Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeff Rosell.

Neighbors helped take down Carrillo.

RELATED: FBI investigates possible link between deadly officer shootings in Santa Cruz Co., Oakland

"My client being charged with these heinous offenses. This case is simply beginning," said Carrillo's attorney Jeffrey Stotter.

Stotter confirmed Carrillo was an active duty US Air Force Sergeant and has suffered personal family loss and a traumatic brain injury which he says was not service related.

"I'm not aware what impact these things may have on the case, I'm simply pointing out that there are more colors to Mr. Carrillo and what his possible motivation and what his involvement is," said Stotter.

RELATED: Air Force sergeant arrested on suspicion for killing of deputy in Santa Cruz County

Stotter also said that Carrillo has expressed sadness over what this has done to the community and families involved.

Neither Stotter nor the District Attorney would comment on Carillo's connection if any to the federal officer shot and killed in Oakland.

Carrillo's arraignment was put over until July. Investigators say they are still looking into what if any connections Carrillo may have to other groups.

The biggest question of all -- "Why would someone do this," said Rosell.
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