Robert Alvin Justus Jr., the self-identified "Boogaloo boy" with a "bloodlust for police," was sentenced last week in federal court after his 2023 conviction for the murder of Protective Services Officer Dave Patrick Underwood.

The case was one of the more bizarre homicides during the chaotic year of 2020. Justus was the driver of a van that was believed to be involved in both the shooting of two federal security guards in downtown Oakland during a night of protest over the Minneapolis murder of George Floyd, and the killing a week later of a Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputy.

In both cases, the shooter was 35-year-old Steven Carrillo, who was sentenced to 41 years in federal prison for the murder of Underwood, and to life in prison for the killing of Santa Cruz Sheriff's Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller. Carrillo, a former U.S. Air Force staff sergeant, lost his wife to suicide in 2018 and seemed to be in an agitated and unhinged state in early 2020 — when he was apparently radicalized by Facebook groups into following the alt-right "Boogaloo" movement.

The movement, as SFNews reported at the time, is obsessed with the idea of a second American Revolution or Civil War — a sequel, the joke being, like the 1980s breakdancing sequel Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo that was just a carbon copy of the original. Carrillo and Justus, who had not met in person before the day of Underwood's murder, were affiliated online with a group called the Grizzly Scouts, a paramilitary militia group that was intent on killing "soup bois," their term for officers in the "alphabet soup" of federal agencies, like the FBI, Homeland Security (HSA), and Bureau of Land Management (BMI).

Carrillo and Justus hatched a plan to take advantage of the chaos in Oakland on the night of May 29, 2020 to shoot federal officers and make it seem like the crime was perpetrated by a George Floyd protester. They targeted Underwood and his partner, who were standing guard outside the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building, and while Justus drove the van by their guard station, Carrillo opened the side door of the van and shot them both with an AR-15-style rifle.

A manhunt for Carrillo and search for the van ensued over the following days, and it was a week later, on June 6, 2020, that Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller spotted it in the woods near where Carrillo lived, in Ben Lomond. Carrillo ended up engaging multiple law enforcement officers in a shootout, including members of the CHP and FBI, and fatally shooting Gutzwiller. He was later arrested after being shot in the leg and having tried to flee on foot, painting the words "Boog" and "stop the duopoly" on a car in his own blood.

Justus would end up turning himself in after learning that the feds were looking for him, arriving at the San Francisco federal building within a couple of days.

While Carrillo is not likely ever getting out of prison, his federal sentence in a 2022 plea deal was to 41 years, with the judge in the case noting his mental illness and suggesting he could someday be rehabilitated. His life sentence in state court all but guarantees he will still never be paroled.

Justus, though, received a harsher sentence of life in federal prison.

"With this sentence, the Justice Department has ensured that both of the defendants responsible for brutally murdering a law enforcement officer and seriously wounding another are held accountable for their heinous crimes,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland in a statement last week. "Law enforcement officers serve their communities at great risk to themselves, and anyone who targets these brave men and women will be met with the full force of the Justice Department."

Justus was convicted in September 2023, having pleaded not guilty and testifying that Carrillo held a gun to his head on May 29, 2020 and forced him to participate in the shooting. Prosecutors showed evidence that Justus had, apparently willingly, helped Carrillo case the area prior to the shooting, and was enthusiastic in his online exchanges beforehand.

Four other accomplices in the case, members of the Grizzly Scouts group who conspired to destroy evidence in the wake of Carrillo's crimes, were separately tried and sentenced. One of those, 37-year-old Robert Blancas, the self-styled "1st Lietenant" of the group, pleaded guilty in 2022 to several counts of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to destroy evidence — as well as an unrelated count of enticement of a minor to sexual activity — and received a 10-and-a-half-year sentence.

Previously: Accomplice Driver In 2020 'Boogaloo' Murder of Federal Guard In Oakland Convicted of Murder