A follower of the anti-government Boogaloo movement, Robert Alvin Justus Jr., has been convicted of murder and attempted murder in the May 2020 drive-by shooting that targeted court security officers outside Oakland’s federal building. Justus, 33, was found guilty by a jury after deliberating for several hours over a two-day period. He now faces a mandatory life sentence.
Justus was the driver of a modified white van owned by fellow Boogaloo follower Steven Carrillo, who was the mastermind behind the murder plot. The two met at a BART station in San Leandro, immediately drove to Oakland, and gunned down Federal Protective Service Officer Dave Patrick Underwood outside the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in downtown Oakland. A second FPS officer was wounded by the gunfire.
According to the FBI, Justus and Carrillo were influenced by the Boogaloo movement, a loosely organized anti-government group that believes a second Civil War is looming. During the trial and an FBI interrogation, Justus claimed that Carrillo forced him into the murder plot at gunpoint and that he expected to attend a protest over George Floyd’s murder in Oakland that same night.
Justus came forward to the FBI after Carrillo ambushed Santa Cruz and California Highway Patrol officers near his home in Ben Lomond, killing Sheriff’s Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller and wounding three other law enforcement officers. Carrillo pleaded guilty to both shootings and received life sentences in state and federal court.
Prosecutors argued that surveillance video around the federal building showed Justus conducting reconnaissance of the area before reporting back to Carrillo. They also pointed out that Justus had the opportunity to flee but instead returned to Carrillo’s van, indicating his willingness to join the plot.
During the trial, Justus testified in his own defense, while Underwood’s partner, Sombat Mifkovic, recounted the moment their security booth was riddled with bullets. The bullet-riddled windows remained in place for months, serving as a grim reminder of the crime until they were eventually replaced by court staff.
Justus now awaits sentencing, facing a mandatory life sentence for his involvement in the drive-by shooting that claimed the life of Officer Underwood and injured his partner.