A former US Air Force military police sergeant with links to the extremist Boogaloo movement pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to a drive-by shooting that left one federal protective services officer dead and another wounded.
Steven Carrillo was an active-duty staff sergeant at Travis Air Force Base on May 29, 2020, when he and an accomplice used protests against the killing of George Floyd as cover for the shooting.
Dave Patrick Underwood and his partner were on duty outside the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland when Carrillo drove by, opened the side door on the van, and fired 19 shots with a homemade rifle, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
More than a dozen of Underwood’s relatives were present in the court room as Carrillo entered the guilty plea and described planning the attack using Facebook to find a driver, deliberately choosing to conduct the shooting during the George Floyd protest, and then opening fire, KGO reported.
Two of Underwood’s relatives left the courtroom in tears while Carrillo spoke.
Carrillo’s attorneys and prosecutors agreed to a 41-year sentence for the guilty plea, but the judge in the case has not yet decided if she’ll accept the deal.
Carrillo also faces state charges in the death of Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller, who was among a group of officers who approached Carrillo’s home eight days later, after a witness spotted the van used in the shooting with guns and bomb-making materials inside. Carrillo opened fire, killing Gutzwiller and wounding another officer, and hijacked a car to escape, but neighbors subdued him.
As police led him away, he shouted, “This is what I came her to fight. I’m sick of these damn police.”
Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeff Rosell said that Carrillo’s plea on federal charges “has absolutely no bearing on what we’re going to do in Santa Cruz County.”
“And Mr. Carrillo is going to answer for the brutal murder of Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller and the other crimes that he committed in our county,” he said.
Carrillo has a hearing in Santa Cruz County in April; his federal sentencing is set for June 3.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast
[Featured image: Steven Carrillo/Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office]