OAKLAND, Calif. — An Air Force sergeant suspected of killing a Santa Cruz County sheriff’s sergeant will be charged, along with a Millbrae man, in the fatal shooting of a federal security officer last month in downtown Oakland, federal officials said Tuesday.
Steven Carrillo, who was charged last week in the killing of Damon Gutzwiller, the sheriff’s sergeant, was aided by 30-year-old Robert Justus, of Millbrae, in the killing of 53-year-old federal security officer David Patrick Underwood, officials said. Justus drove a white van and acted as the getaway driver in the May 29 Oakland shooting, officials said.
Officials said Carrillo harbored a hatred of law enforcement and had ties to a right-wing Boogaloo group that believes a second American Civil War is coming soon.
Underwood, a 53-year-old Pinole resident, was guarding the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland amid protests nearby over police brutality and the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The white van was captured on a surveillance video, officials said, which revealed that the gunman had slid open the van’s side door to fire the weapon.
Carrillo, 32, was charged last week with Gutzwiller’s murder and numerous other felonies. His arraignment has been postponed until next month.
An Air Force sergeant and leader in an elite military security force, Carrillo was armed with homemade bombs, an AR-15 rifle and other weapons and had a desire to harm police when he launched a deadly attack on unsuspecting officers, the Santa Cruz County sheriff said Monday.
Officials said Tuesday that Carrillo and Justus were not part of the protests and were taking advantage of them to carry out their attacks.
Brian Levin, executive director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, said Carrillo’s postings on social media including Facebook had become increasingly disturbing.
Levin said he said he shared memes about the so-called “Boogaloo” movement, a right-wing extremist group that anticipates civil war. Levin said the far-right groups are now more of a threat to government and law enforcement.
“Our research shows 27 far-right extremist connected homicides,” Levin said. The FBI arrested three associates of the Boogaloo movement in Nevada, recently and they were charged with inciting violence with Molotov cocktails at protests.
Levin said Boogaloo followers range from ultra-libertarians to white supremacists but they all share a belief in a second Civil War coming.
“They are Second Amendment insurrectionist,” Levin said. “The boogaloo boys believe in armed insurrection and include attacks on the police.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge Jack Bennett said that Carrillo used a privately made firearm — a so-called ghost gun built using an unmarked receiver to kill the federal officer. Bennett would not say whether Carrillo made that gun or someone else.
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