SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KRON) – One picture emerging of 32-year-old Steven Carrillo, the man accused in the alleged ambush murder of Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Deputy Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller, is a man driven to action by a growing resentment of law enforcement.

He was moved by the on-going protests against police, says Justin Ehrhardt, who served with Carrillo in the Air Force.

“He sees this police brutality and he thinks I need to do something, I need to act. Here’s my purpose in life and I need to take out as many law enforcement officers as I can,” Justin Ehrhardt said. 

Ehrhardt and Carrillo served together from 2011-2013 as part of the security forces team at Hill Air Force Base in Utah.

“The person he was when we dealt with him had zero indications that he was to this level of extreme,” Ehrhardt said. 

Carillo was tackled and disarmed by a would-be carjack victim before his arrest on Saturday in Ben Lomond. 

Having been wounded earlier in the ambush and firefight with deputies, in his own blood, Carillo at one point scrawled “stop the duality,’ and other messages on the trunk of a car. 

A reference to the anti-establishment, anti-police sentiment he’d been posting on Facebook in recent weeks, according to Ehrhardt.

“He had been posting about libertarianism and reducing down the impact of government on local lives but it was never to the extent of we need to kill cops or we need to go to war with them which is essentially what he did,” Ehrhardt said. 

Speaking out in the hope that Carillo’s actions won’t reflect badly on the Air Force, Erhardt nonetheless worries that considering the guns and bombs in his van, the online venom aimed at police and his considerable anti-terror training, Carillo may have planning something else when the firefight that took the life of Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller intervened.

“I believe there was probably something bigger that he was planning on doing and the fact that these citizens were able to disarm him of his AR-15, the pistol and the pipe bombs he had. They risked everything to protect their town and citizens,” Ehrhardt said.

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