Memorial planned for federal officer shot at US courthouse
PINOLE, Calif. (AP) — Family and friends gathered Friday to honor a federal law enforcement officer fatally shot while guarding a U.S. courthouse in Oakland. They were joined by the acting chief of Homeland Security, who traveled from Washington to honor “a fallen hero,” his office said.
David Patrick Underwood, 53, was killed May 29 while guarding the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland as a large demonstration was underway nearby over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
A colleague was also shot and wounded. Authorities say an airman with ties to the so-called boogaloo right-wing extremist movement has been charged in the killing.
Hundreds gathered at the memorial service for Underwood at the high school he attended in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Pinole.
Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, joined the ceremony to honor Underwood, who the agency in a statement called “a fallen hero who made the ultimate sacrifice."
Underwood died from gunshot wounds sustained during a drive-by shooting the night of May 29 as a protest in downtown Oakland that began peacefully sank into chaos. Underwood and a colleague were working that night as contract security officers for the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service.
Federal authorities say the shooter used the protest as cover for the crime. Authorities say that Underwood, who is African American, was targeted because he wore a uniform.
Last week, the FBI announced murder charges against Air Force Staff Sgt. Steve Carrillo. Authorities say Carrillo used the same homemade AR-15-style rifle eight days later to kill a Santa Cruz deputy in a hail of gunfire that wounded four other officers. Carrillo faces separate state charges for the June 6 fatal shooting of Santa Cruz County sheriff’s Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller.
Authorities allege that Carrillo, 32, had ties to the far-right, anti-government “boogaloo” movement and had hatched a plan to target federal law enforcement officials during the Oakland protest.
Underwood was the brother of Angela Underwood Jacobs, a recent Republican candidate who sought to fill a vacant U.S. district seat north of Los Angeles.
Jacobs spoke before Congress last week in a House hearing on racial profiling and police brutality. She remembered her brother as “a good man who only wanted to help others and keep his community safe. He had an infectious laugh and a corny sense of humor.”
Jacobs said her brother was proud to serve his community and asked why his killing has not elicited an outcry.
“My brother wore a uniform, and he wore that uniform proudly,” Jacobs said. “I’m wondering, where is the outrage for a fallen officer that also happens to be African American?”
Gecker reported from San Francisco.