SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — A former Air Force sergeant associated with an anti-government extremist movement who attacked law enforcement officers in 2020 during protests over the murder of George Floyd has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder of a US Army Sergeant. sheriff of Northern California.
Steven Carrillo, 33, pleaded guilty to all nine charges, including murder, in June for the murder of Santa Cruz County Sheriff Sgt. Damon Gutziller. Also in June, a federal judge sentenced Carrillo to 41 years in prison for the murder of David Patrick Underwood, a federal security officer who was attacked along with a colleague while guarding a federal building in Oakland.
Prosecutors said that on June 6, 2020, Carrillo ambushed sheriffs deputies in Santa Cruz County responding to a report of a van carrying firearms and bomb-making equipment. Gutzwiller, 38, was killed and several other law enforcement officers were injured.
Carrillo, of Santa Cruz, was arrested after ambushing officials in the Ben Lomond community.
At the time of his arrest, Carrillo was the leader of a team of highly trained security forces from the Air Mobility Command.
According to information released by the Air Force Personnel Center in June 2020, Carrillo was assigned to the 60th Security Forces Squadron at Travis Air Force Base in California, where he served as team leader of Phoenix Raven.
Prosecutors said Carrillo, of Santa Cruz, had ties to the “boogaloo” movement, a concept embraced by a loose network of gun enthusiasts and militia-style extremists connecting online. Experts say the group started out in an internet alt-right culture with the belief that there is an imminent American Civil War.
In February, Carrillo pleaded guilty to Underwood’s murder and admitted to posting on Facebook a day before May 29, 2020, shooting in Oakland and asking someone if they were “down to arc” and saying he was ready. was to act and not just talk. He also admitted to firing 19 shots with a homemade AR-15 rifle from the back of a white van driven by a man he interacted with online.
“I joined the anti-government movement and wanted to take violent action against federal law enforcement in particular,” Carrillo said at the time.
Carrillo fatally shot Underwood after he opened fire on a guard booth as hundreds marched on the streets against police brutality following the May 2020 murder of Floyd, a black man, by a white Minneapolis police officer.
In the California case, Robert Alvin Justus Jr., of Millbrae, was driving the van, according to prosecutors. He faces federal charges of murder and attempted murder in the case.
A week after the Oakland shooting, officers arrested Carrillo shortly after he killed Gutzwiller.