June 12, 2020 / 7:37 AM / 22 days ago

Man charged in pipe bomb ambush of deputies, wrote far-right phrase in blood

June 11 (Reuters) - A U.S. Air Force sergeant is accused of shooting dead a Sheriff’s deputy in California’s Santa Cruz mountains last week, throwing lit pipe bombs and shooting at other deputies and planning to kill more, court papers say.

Steven Carrillo, 32, an active duty sergeant at Travis Air Force Base, was charged Thursday with 19 felonies including one count of murder, eight counts of attempted murder, making and detonating pipe bombs, according to a 14-page indictment filed in the Superior Court of Santa Cruz.

Carrillo was arrested after a June 6 attack near Ben Lomond in which Santa Cruz Deputy Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller was killed and Deputy Alex Spencer was critically wounded, hit by shrapnel as the suspect fled, the indictment and media accounts said.

The deputies were responding to a citizen’s call about a man driving a van containing guns and explosives in Boulder Creek, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Other charges included detonating pipe bombs, laying in wait to attack officers and assaulting a firefighter and three other law enforcement officers, the indictment said.

Before he was arrested, armed with an AR-15 rifle and pipe bombs, Carrillo scrawled the word “boog” and the phrase, “I became unreasonable,” in blood on the hood of a car, NBC News and other media have reported.

“Boog” is shorthand for the word “boogaloo,” a far-right anti-government movement that began on extremist web sites on the internet, according to the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Carrillo, from California, was an active duty sergeant and member of the 60th Security Force Squadron, media accounts said.

It was unclear if Carrillo had an attorney. Carrillo’s first court appearance is scheduled for Friday. Several media accounts have linked him to other crimes, but unrelated charges have not been filed.

Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta, Editing by William Maclean

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