Air Force Sergeant Steven Carrillo, 32, reportedly faces charges in connection with the murder of a federal officer who was killed on May 29 at the onset of protests in Oakland in the wake of the death of Geroge Floyd. Last week, Carillo was charged in state court with the killing of Damon Gutzwiller, a Santa Cruz County sheriff’s sergeant. It has now been revealed that he reportedly aligned himself with a right-wing extremist group known as “Boogaloo.”
According to federal officials, Carillo and Robert A. Justus Jr., 30, of Millbrae, California, fatally shot federal security officer David Patrick Underwood. Underwood guarded the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland. Another officer was critically wounded; both were members of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service. Justus drove a white van and acted as the getaway driver in the shooting that led to an eight-day manhunt.
Officers showed up at Carrillo’s home on June 6 after they discovered his abandoned white van with ammunition, guns and bomb-making equipment in it, according to authorities. He reportedly ambushed the officers, killed Gutzwiller and carjacked a vehicle in which he reportedly used his own blood from a shot wound to scrawl the words “boog” and “I became unreasonable” on the hood of the car. These phrases are connected with extremist right-wing anti-government movement “Boogaloo.”
Carrillo and Justus came together as a result of their ties to the movement which is said to believe in a second American Civil War and targets perceived government tyranny, the complaint read. They allege Carrillo went to Oakland—about 70 miles north of Santa Cruz—intent on killing police during the George Floyd demonstrations.
“Go to the riots and support our own cause. Show them the real targets. Use their anger to fuel our fire. Think outside the box. We have mobs of angry people to use to our advantage,” Carillo wrote in one Facebook group, according to the complaint. He reportedly also posted that he believed that the second civil war was “kicking off now and if it’s not kicking off in your hood then start it.” Investigators found a ballistic vest in his car with a patch featuring an igloo and a Hawaiian-style print — symbols associated with the “Boogaloo” movement, according to his federal complaint.
This is apparently not an isolated incident by a “boogaloo boi” using a protest to carry out violent acts motivated by their hate-filled ideology. Cynthia Miller-Idris, an expert on domestic extremist groups at American University, told The Intercept that they had mobilized in the past six months during three separate protests.
“The ‘boogaloo’ movement is not a defined group,” an FBI agent noted in the complaint. “In general, followers of the ‘boogaloo’ ideology may identify as militia and share a narrative of inciting a violent uprising against perceived government tyranny.”
Carrillo is being held in Monterey County jail without bail. He is expected to enter a plea to the state charges next month.