Steven Carrillo is charged with murdering a Santa Cruz County deputy sheriff and a security officer
Steven Carrillo is charged with murdering a Santa Cruz County deputy sheriff and a security officer guarding Oakland’s federal courthouse.
(FRONTLINE via ProPublica)
Government

Steven Carrillo pleads guilty to murder of federal officer in Oakland

The Ben Lomond resident and former Air Force sergeant is also accused of killing Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller in June 2020.

A Ben Lomond man — currently awaiting trial for the murder of a Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputy — pleaded guilty Friday to the 2020 murder of Federal Protective Service Ofc. Pat Underwood, a killing that occurred days prior to the one in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Steven Carrillo, an ex-Air Force sergeant, became heavily involved in a militia group known as the “Boogaloo Bois,” eventually joining a “highly organized and extremely secretive” faction based in California known as the “Grizzly Scouts.”

Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller
(Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office)

Carrillo, then 32, was involved in a shootout with police near his Ben Lomond residence on June 6, 2020, prosecutors say. Officers were responding to reports of a suspicious vehicle before officials say Carrillo opened fire. The aftermath left Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller dead and multiple officers injured.

The shooting happened about a week after the murder of Underwood outside a federal building in Oakland on May 29 of that year.

Carrillo agreed to plead guilty after prosecutors took the death penalty off the table last month. His attorneys and prosecutors have agreed to his term for the Underwood killing — 41 years — though the federal judge in the case still has to sign off on the deal.