SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Steven Carrillo, the U.S. Air Force sergeant suspected in a deadly ambush of two Santa Cruz County deputies, was formally charged with murder and several counts of attempted murders with special enhancements that could carry with them a death sentence.
The Bay Area News Group also cited an unnamed law enforcement source as saying the 32-year-old Carrillo is thought to have been involved in the fatal shooting of Federal Protective Services officer Dave Underwood at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in downtown Oakland on the night of May 29.
The shooting, which injured another federal officer, happened while a large protest over the death of George Floyd erupted into violence and looting in nearby downtown Oakland.
Carrillo was arrested Saturday after a violent attack in Ben Lomond which killed sheriff’s Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller and severely injured a second deputy. Carrillo allegedly opened fire on deputies and lobbed pipe bombs at them as they were responding to a call about a man driving a van with guns and explosive devices.
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Santa Cruz Sheriff Jim Hart called Carrillo “a dangerous man intent on bringing harm to police officers” who ambushed his deputies.
“I want to talk a little about Steven Carrillo, I don’t even want to say his name again,” Hart told reporters at a Monday afternoon news conference. “It’s the last time you are going to hear me say it. This guy was active Air Force. He was dangerous and he was an angry man intent on bringing harm to police officers. He murdered Sgt. Gutzwiller. He injured another deputy.”
Since Saturday evening, FBI forensic teams have been at the ambush site in Ben Lomond, searching for evidence involving both cases. Of particular interest has been a white van at Carrillo was driving as deputies followed him to the Ben Lomond home. A caller had alerted authorities that they had seen guns and explosives in the van.
A grainy photo of a white van had been released by the FBI on Friday that they believe was connected to the deadly federal building salvo. They had asked for the public’s help on locating it.
All week long, the FBI has confirmed they were looking for a link between the two deadly crime targeting law enforcement officers.
FBI San Francisco special agent in charge John Bennett talked about the possible connection between Carrillo’s white van and one sought in connection with the Oakland hooting.
“Many of you have asked about this (the white van) in connection with the shooting of two federal protection officers in Oakland,” Bennett said. “We are actively investigating the possibility of links between these cases. However, as this investigation is ongoing. I cannot provide or I will not provide details … on it.”