Suspect in slaying of Santa Cruz deputy accused of killing federal officer in Oakland
OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - The man charged in the slaying of a Santa Cruz County deputy has also been accused of the murder of a federal security officer in Oakland.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced on Tuesday that Steven Carrillo, 32, has been charged in the shooting death of Dave Patrick Underwood, 53, at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building on May 29. Authorities allege that Carrillo is a right-wing extremist who deliberately carried out the attack with Robert Justus Jr., 30, on the same night of a George Floyd protest in Oakland.
FBI Special Agent John Bennett said text messages between the suspects and others indicated a plan to travel to Oakland and attack federal officers.
The FBI arrested Robert Alvin Justus Jr. in connection to the shooting death of a federal officer in Oakland on May 29, 2020.
Bennett said the suspects chose the night of the planned protest because it would provide them the opportunity to target multiple law enforcement officers and avoid capture due to the large crowds.
"To be clear, Carrillo elected to travel to Oakland to conduct this murder and take advantage of a time when this nation was mourning the killing of George Floyd. There is no evidence that these men had any intention to join the demonstration in Oakland," said Bennett. "They came to Oakland to kill cops."
Federal officials said Carrillo, an Air Force sergeant, was associated with the "Boogaloo" movement- described by prosecutors as a far-right extremist group that calls for a second civil war.
Investigators said on May 29 at around 9:24 p.m., Justus parked a white 1992 Ford Econoline E-150 van in a parking spot near 12th and Jefferson streets, not too far from a guard post where two federal protective service officers were located. Officials said Carrillo was sitting on the passenger side of the vehicle. Justus exited the van and combed the area for about 10 minutes before returning to the vehicle.
Shortly after, Justus started the van and drove toward the guard post when Carrillo opened the passenger-sliding door and fired at Underwood and his colleague.
Both officers sustained gunshot wounds and Underwood died from his injuries.
Carrillo faces federal murder and attempted murder charges while Justus is accused of aiding and abetting him.
Earlier this month, after the FBI released photos of the suspect vehicle, a witness reported that they spotted the van at an abandoned property in Ben Lomond.
Investigators said ammunition, firearms, and bomb-making equipment were found inside the van.
The witness took note of the van’s VIN number and passed the information on to law enforcement. Theey found that it was registered to Carrillo.
In response to the information provided by the witness, deputies from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office responded to Carrillo's registered address at 120 Waldeberg Road on June 6 at 2 p.m.
As deputies approached the residence, Carrillo opened fire, killing Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller, 38, and injuring another deputy.
Carrillo separately faces charges for Gutzwiller's death and remains in custody.