Ex-Air Force sergeant tied to ‘boogaloo’ movement to change plea in killing of officer

A mug shot of Steven Carrillo
Court records show that Steven Carrillo, a former U.S. Air Force sergeant, plans to change his not-guilty plea in the fatal shooting of David Patrick Underwood.
(Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office)

A former U.S. Air Force sergeant plans to change his not guilty plea in the fatal shooting of a federal security officer in Northern California during 2020 protests against police brutality, court records filed Monday showed.

Steven Carrillo, 33, pleaded not guilty in July 2020 in the killing of David Patrick Underwood, who was shot on May 29, 2020, while he stood in a guard shack in front of a federal building in Oakland.

Court records showed Carrillo, of Santa Cruz, is scheduled to change his plea Friday at a federal court in San Francisco. His attorney, James Thomson, did not immediately return an email Monday from the Associated Press seeking comment


On Jan. 31, federal prosecutors agreed to not seek the death penalty.

Prosecutors say Carrillo had ties to the “boogaloo” movement, a concept embraced by a loose network of gun enthusiasts and militia-style extremists. The group started in alt-right culture on the internet with the belief that there is an impending civil war, according to experts.

Air Force Sgt. Steven Carrillo, charged with the killing of a sheriff’s sergeant, now faces federal charges in the Oakland slaying of a federal officer.

June 16, 2020

Authorities accused Carrillo of fatally shooting Underwood from a van after developing a plot with Robert Alvin Justus Jr. of Millbrae. The pair is accused of driving to Oakland and taking advantage of the distraction afforded by protesters marching through the city’s downtown. Justus drove the van, authorities said.

A week after the shooting in Oakland, Carrillo allegedly ambushed sheriff’s deputies in Santa Cruz County who were responding to a report of a van containing firearms and bomb-making materials. Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller, 38, was killed and several other law enforcement officials were wounded, according to authorities and court records.

Prosecutors in Santa Cruz charged Carrillo with a slew of felonies, including murder and attempted murder, in connection to that killing.

Carrillo pleaded not guilty in Gutzwiller’s killing.