Two men charged in drive-by shooting of California federal security officers

5 months ago 36
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June 16 (UPI) -- The Justice Department on Tuesday charged two men in a drive-by shooting at a federal building in Oakland that killed one security guard and injured another.

Accused gunman Steven Carrillo was charged with one count of murder of a person assisting an officer or employee of the U.S. government and one count of murder under the same statute. Robert Alvin Justus Jr., who is accused of driving the vehicle from which Carrillo fired at the guards, was charged with aiding and abetting murder, and attempted murder.

The charges stem from a May 29 incident in which Carrillo allegedly fired at guards protecting the federal building in Oakland from a white Ford Econoline-style van driven by Justus, killing protective security officer David Patrick Underwood and injuring his partner.

Following an eight-day manhunt, witnesses reported an abandoned van in Ben Lomond, Calif., that allegedly contained ammunition, firearms and bomb-making equipment. Efforts were also apparently made to alter the van's appearance.

Evidence from the van led Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office deputies to Carillo's residence in Ben Lomond where he allegedly opened fire on deputies.

Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller died after sustaining injuries in the shooting and a second deputy was injured but survived. An explosion also took place at the scene.

Authorities apprehended Carrillo after he attempted to flee the scene on foot and later in a stolen vehicle.

A search of Carrillo's residence produced further evidence including an AR-15-style short-barreled rifle and cellphone records that identified Justus as the person with whom he may have been coordinating the attack on the federal building.

Justus was arrested on June 11 after traveling to the federal building to meet with the FBI when they placed him under surveillance.

Carrillo faces a potential death sentence if convicted of the murder charge and a maximum of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine for the attempted murder charge. He also faces murder charges and additional felony counts for the shooting that killed Gutzwiller.

Justus made his initial court appearance on Monday and faces the same maximum statutory penalties as Carrillo.

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