A second suspect has been identified after a gunman linked to a far-right extremist movement fired a rifle from a van and killed a federal security officer in Oakland, authorities said Tuesday.
Robert Alvin Justus Jr., 30, of Millbrae, was allegedly driving the van when David Patrick Underwood, a Federal Protective Service officer, and his partner were shot with an AR-15 type rifle outside the Oakland federal courthouse on May 29 while protests unfolded around the city.
Days later on June 6, his alleged accomplice, 32-year-old Steven Carrillo, is accused of shooting two Santa Cruz County deputies outside his home in Ben Lomond, killing Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller.
Both Justus and Carrillo have been arrested and charged in federal court, prosecutors said. Carrillo also faces charges in state court in connection with the killing of Gutzwiller.
David Anderson, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, announced the new details at a press conference Tuesday alongside authorities from the FBI and other agencies.
Anderson confirmed that Carrillo, a sergeant with the U.S. Air Force, is believed to be an associated with the “Boogaloo” movement, an extremist ideology with followers who identify as militia and seek to incite a violent uprising.
Authorities found a ballistics vest in a vehicle registered to Carrillo that had a patch on it with a Boogaloo symbol described as an altered American flag.
While fleeing the deputy shooting June 6, Carrillo allegedly used his own blood to write phrases associated with the movement on one of the vehicles he carjacked, Anderson said.
Authorities also said the white van used in the Oakland shooting was the same vehicle found in Ben Lomond with bomb-making equipment inside.
“Pat Underwood was murdered because he wore a uniform,” Anderson said. “In announcing the charges today we are reaffirming our commitment to protect those who protect us.”
Jack Bennett, FBI special agent in charge of the San Francisco Division, said the suspects chose to attack in Oakland that night because law enforcement was busy responding to protests.
“Carrillo elected to travel to Oakland to conduct this murder and take advantage of a time when this nation was mourning the death of George Floyd,” Bennett said.
“There is no evidence that these men had any intention to join the demonstration in Oakland,” he added. “They came to Oakland to kill cops.”
Investigators connected the two men through phone records that showed Carrillo called a number possibly associated with Justus shortly before turning off his phone the night of the Oakland shooting.
Justus is alleged to have offered evidence of his involvement to authorities on June 11, when he was arrested.
Carrillo is charged with murder and attempted murder in federal court. He faces up to life in prison or the death penalty for the murder charge and up to 20 years for attempted murder.
Justus is charged with aiding and abetting murder and attempted murder. He faces the same maximum penalties.