Man charged in the killing of a California cop wrote phrases related to the 'Boogaloo Bois' extremist group in blood before his arrest, according to report

Boogaloo Bois waiting at the area of rioting on May 30, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky.The Photo Access / MediaPunch /IPX
  • Steven Carrillo, a California man charged in the killing of a Santa Cruz sheriff's deputy in a June 6 ambush, is reportedly linked to the "Boogaloo Bois" extremist group, according to NBC News.
  • NBC News reported that Carrillo, an active Air Force sergeant, allegedly wrote "Boogaloo" phrases, including "Boog" and "I became unreasonable," in blood on the hood of a car ahead of his arrest.
  • Members of the "Boogaloo Bois" far-right anti-government extremist group have continued to show up at protests over police brutality and racism throughout the US.
  • The FBI said it's also investigating a potential link between Carrillo and a separate killing in Oakland.

The California man who is charged in the killing of a Santa Cruz sheriff's deputy and an ambush that injured another on June 6 reportedly had ties to the far-right "Boogaloo Bois" extremist group, NBC News reported on Thursday, citing Santa Cruz District Attorney Jeffrey S. Rosell.

Steven Carrillo, an active Air Force sergeant, reportedly wrote "Boogaloo" phrases, including "Boog" and "I became unreasonable," in blood on the hood of a car ahead of his arrest.

"I became unreasonable" is a popular meme in online communities, including Facebook and 4chan, where the Boogaloos have developed and continue to grow. The phrase stems from anti-government extremist Marvin Heemeyer bulldozed 13 buildings in Colorado after a zoning dispute, before dying by suicide on June 4, 2004, "almost 16 years to the day of Carrillo's attack," NBC News noted. Advertisement

Insider has reached out to the district attorney's office and has not been able to independently verify Carrillo's connection to the Boogaloos.

Carrillo allegedly killed Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller in Ben Lomond, Calif., after officers responded to reports of a suspicious vehicle. Santa Cruz Sheriff Jim Hart said in a press conference on Monday that Carrillo then "ambushed" the officers with gunfire and explosive devices.

Rosell charged Carrillo with 19 counts, including murder, attempted murder, carjacking, and other crimes. "He was dangerous and he was an angry man intent on bringing harm to police officers," Hart said on Monday.

Carrillo has also been linked to a separate attack in Oakland, where a gunman killed one security officer outside of a courthouse and critically injured two others, according to the FBI, who said on Sunday that it was working with the Santa Cruz authorities in its investigation.

The "Boogaloo Bois," which Carrillo had ties to, according to NBC News' report, mostly consists of white men who believe in accelerating an impending civil war. Some members are far-right, and some consider themselves to be libertarian — but overall, they love guns and hate the government. Alexander Reid Ross, a researcher who tracks white nationalism and a doctoral fellow at the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right, told Insider in a previous interview that the Boogaloos are a "rebranding of sovereign citizen style libertarian-right militia." Boogaloos have shown up at anti-racism and police brutality protests across the US in the wake of George Floyd's murder, stoking discomfort among protesters who don't trust the Boogaloos' intentions. Reid Ross said Boogaloos are showing up for protests either out of a desire for public discord, or to protect citizens against the police, as many are engaging in a "vigilante fantasy."Advertisement

Protesters have reason to be threatened by the Boogaloos' presence. Federal prosecutors charged three men associated with the Boogaloos on May 30 for allegedly making molotov cocktails before heading to a Las Vegas protest after Floyd's murder. Like Carrillo, each of those three men had military experience.