The “Boogaloo Boi” who shot a California sheriff’s deputy last week was officially charged Tuesday with the shootings of two federal officers in an ambush at an anti-police protest in Oakland a week before—and it turns out that he had an accomplice, who has also been charged. He met this accomplice on Facebook before plotting the shootings.
Steven Carrillo, 32, an Air Force staff sergeant who scrawled “Boog” in blood on the hood of his car during his later rampage, now faces multiple federal and state death sentence charges. His alleged accomplice, a Millbrae man named Robert Justus Jr., 30, was charged as an accomplice for having driven the van in Oakland.
According to prosecutors, the two men met in a Facebook Boogaloo group dedicated to the “civil war” they anticipate will erupt shortly, and they discussed using the ongoing protests against the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 as a pretext for fueling their hoped-for conflagration.
The morning before the Oakland attack, Carrillo and Justus had an exchange: “It’s on our coast now, this needs to be nationwide. It’s a great opportunity to target the specialty group soup bois [a Boogaloo reference to federal law-enforcement agents],” Carrillo wrote.
“Let’s boogie,” answered Justus.
“Go to the riots and support our own cause. Show them the real targets,” Carrillo wrote in another post. “Use their anger to fuel our fire. Think outside the box. We have mobs of angry people to use to our advantage.”
Federal prosecutors charged Carrillo with killing federal security officer David Patrick Underwood, 53, an African American who lived in Pinole, and attempting to murder Underwood’s partner. The attack occurred as two employees of the Federal Protective Service, including Underwood, patrolled a downtown building while protests against the killing of Floyd unfolded blocks away near city hall.
Justus surprised authorities by turning himself in at the federal building in San Francisco the day after Carrillo’s lethal rampage in Santa Cruz and confessing to his role in the ambush. The FBI had identified him as an associate of Carrillo’s and had him under surveillance.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Jack Bennett told reporters that the two men seemed to have little in common with the protesters. “There is no evidence that these men had any intention to join the demonstration in Oakland,” Bennett said at a Tuesday news conference. “They came to Oakland to kill cops.”