Federal authorities believe two Bay Area attacks on law enforcement are the work of the same domestic terror cell.
The federal courthouse ambush in Oakland that left Federal Security Officer David Underwood dead two weeks ago and the attack that killed Santa Cruz Sheriff's Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller, and wounded two other members of law enforcement, are believed to be connected.
Multiple sources with knowledge of the federal investigation into both shootings say Steven Carrillo – who is being held for the shooting death of the deputy in Ben Lomond – is believed to also be the gunman in the Oakland shooting. The driver of the van involved remains at large.
Justin Ehrhardt trained with Carrillo in 2014 at Hill Air Force Base in Utah and never had a hint that Carrillo was capable of a homicide, especially of law enforcement.
“It was a huge shock to say the least and those of us who know him no him as someone who is really nice and helpful, friendly,” said Ehrhardt.
At the time of the killings, Carrillo was stationed at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, trained in explosives and tactics. A month ago he called Ehrhardt and nothing stood out.
Then came Carrillo’s facebook posts, one after the other, criticizing police actions during the protests and violence following the death of George Floyd. Now, Carrillo is suspected of terrorism.
“We swear an oath to protect people from these kind of people and there’s no words I have to describe how pissed off I am about this,” said Ehrhardt.
On Capitol Hill Wednesday, the sister of the officer killed at the federal courthouse in Oakland spoke to lawmakers.
“I’m wondering where is the outrage over the death of a law enforcement officer who also happened to be African American?” said Angela Jacobs Underwood, sister of the deceased officer.
Authorities believe the van used for the Oakland shooting is the same one they recovered in the Santa Cruz County attack. They also recovered a cache of guns and explosives inside what they describe as a compound in the Santa Cruz mountains.