Feds Charge Man Tied To ‘Boogaloo’ Movement With Second Killing, Arrest Alleged Accomplice

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California
|
June 16, 2020 4:21 p.m.

The man charged with killing a police officer in Cailfornia in June — and accused of scrawling the word “BOOG” in blood on the hood of a car during his arrest — is now also formally accused of another murder a week earlier in May

Authorities alleged Tuesday that the man, Air Force Sgt. Steven Carrillo, killed one Federal Protective Service officer and seriously wounded another in a drive-by shooting.

The alleged driver in the May shooting — Robert Justus — has also now been arrested, U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson announced Tuesday.

According to the complaint against Carrillo, he and Justus discussed a movement known as “boogaloo” — a reference to taking up arms against the government — before carrying out the attack.

Carrillo and Justus chose the day of their attack to coincide with protests in Oakland over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis — because there would be ample law enforcement targets, authorities alleged Tuesday.

“There is no evidence that these men had any intention to join the demonstration in Oakland,” said John Bennet, the agent in charge of the FBI’s San Francisco division, adding: “They came to Oakland to kill cops.”

Carrillo was charged in a federal complaint with murder and attempted murder for the killing of the federal officer, Dave Patrick Underwood. Justus was charged separately with aiding and abetting the murder and attempted murder.

Carillo would allegedly later go on to kill Sheriff’s Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller on June 6.

According to the complaint against Carrillo, authorities believe he and Justus aligned themselves with the “boogaloo” movement, a loose ideology that is oriented generally toward armed conflict with the government, and that anticipates a second Civil War. According to the complaint released Tuesday, Justus said he’d met Carrillo online and initially agreed to meet him in person to drive him to protests in Oakland.

In an interview with an FBI agent, Justus allegedly said that that he’d driven Carrillo in May, during the first alleged murder. But said he felt he had to participate because “he was trapped in the van with Carrillo,” in the complaint’s words. He also said he wanted to try and talk Carrillo out of his plan.

In the complaint against Carrillo, however, authorities quote an alleged Facebook exchange between Carrillo and Justus: “It’s on our coast now, this needs to be nationwide,” Carrillo allegedly wrote above a video of a crowd attacking California two Highway Patrol vehicles.

“It’s a great opportunity to target the specialty soup bois,” he allegedly added, using a shorthand for officers of various federal agencies.

“Specialty soup bois,” the complaint noted, appeared to refer to the fact that federal law enforcement agencies are sometimes referred to as “alphabet soup” agencies.

Justus allegedly responded: “Lets boogie.”

A week after that alleged killing, Carrillo would allegedly kill Gutzwiller, a Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputy, during an ambush attack. Carrillo faces 19 felony counts for the attack and could face the death penalty.

The rampage, in a mountainous area outside Santa Cruz, left a grim trail of evidence. Carrillo wrote “BOOG” and other phrases in blood on the hood of a vehicle at the scene, a reference to “Boogaloo.” 

“Boogaloo,” a sarcastic derivation of the title of an ’80s breakdancing movie, refers to a second Civil War and has become popular with violent extremists and their supporters online.

According to the complaint against Carrillo, a ballistic vest found in his vehicle bore another reference to the Boogaloo movement — an American flag patch featuring a picture of an igloo and a a stripe of Hawaiian-style print running down the middle. These are also derivations of  “Boogaloo” — “Big Igloo” and “Big Luau.” 

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California

According to the complaint against him, Carillo used what’s known as a “ghost” machine gun in the second alleged killing — that is, a homemade weapon without a serial number. At least one handgun’s shell casings were found at both crime scenes, according to the complaint against Carrillo.

It was not clear Tuesday whether Justus had legal representation. Carrillo’s lawyer, Jeffrey Stotter, told ABC7 on Friday that Carrillo had suffered personal loss — his wife died of an apparent suicide in 2018 — and a traumatic brain injury in the past.

“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,” he said.

Read the complaints against Carrillo and Justus below:


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