A sheriff's deputy in Santa Clara County has been arrested and accused of fabricating a hate-crime incident last January in which he claimed to have been shot at by suspects in a passing vehicle on a remote road.

Deputy Sukhdeep Gill told superiors that he was on patrol on Uvas Road in unincorporated Morgan Hill on the night of Friday, January 31, 2020 when a silver 2000s sedan, possibly a Honda approached him with its lights turned off. He then claimed that one or more suspects fired at him, and a bullet struck the body-worn camera he was wearing. Gill said that he returned fire.

The story was picked up by KPIX with the headline "Santa Clara County Deputy Shot During Ambush Saved by Body Camera."

Deputy Gill is Sikh and wears a traditional headdress, and the attack was characterized as a possible hate crime.

But now, as KPIX reports, investigators in the Sheriff's department have concluded that the evidence suggests the shooting did not occur as he described it, and they believe it was fabricated. No suspect vehicle was ever identified, but further details from the investigation have not been revealed.

On Friday, Gill was arrested without incident and charged with filing a false police report, along with felony vandalism.

In a statement to the media, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said, "If the allegations hold true, Deputy Gill’s actions are not representative of the upstanding men and women of the Sheriff’s Office, who risk their lives every day to serve and protect our community with honesty and integrity."

Photo: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office