Memorial service set for David Patrick Underwood

Memorial service set for David Patrick Underwood
David Patrick Underwood (Photo: Facebook)

By Mike Kinney

A memorial service for Federal Protective Services Officer David Patrick Underwood is scheduled to take place on Friday at the Pinole Valley High School Theatre, 2900 Pinole Valley Road.

Underwood, 53, will be remembered in a ceremony from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. that is open to the public. Rev. Dr. Alvin C. Bernstein of Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in Richmond is scheduled to conduct the eulogy.

Underwood was a well-regarded Pinole resident who was fatally shot as he was guarding the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland amid protests on May 29. At about 9:45 p.m. that night, a white van pulled up to the building and an occupant fired at Underwood and another federal security officer, according to the FBI. Underwood was killed and his colleague was critically injured.

Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the case, authorities announced today, including suspected shooter Steven Carrillo, an active-duty U.S. Air Force sergeant, and suspected driver and accomplice Robert Justice. Carrillo is also suspected in an ambush on deputies in Santa Cruz County that killed Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller. Evidence suggests Carillo and Justice were not part of the protests in Oakland, but had rather planned their attack to coincide with the demonstration in order to avoid apprehension, the FBI said. Evidence was also uncovered suggesting Carillo supported the Boogaloo movement, described as a loosely-organized, far-right extremist ideology whose participants are planning for a second American Civil War.

Angela Underwood-Jacobs, who is Underwood’s sister, is seeking justice for her brother as well as for George Floyd and all victims of senseless violence in America. In an emotional testimony before the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary on June 10, Underwood-Jacobs used her voice both to honor her brother and as a catalyst for change.

Underwood was “a good man, who only wanted to help others and keep his community safe,” his sister said. He had an infectious laugh, corny sense of humor and “would go out of his way to help family, friends, and strangers,” she added.

“[Patrick Underwood] was a committed and dedicated Federal Protective Officer for the Department of Homeland Security,” Underwood-Jacobs said during her Congressional testimony. “How my brother died was wrong and I’m praying that we learn something from how he lived.”

Underwood-Jacobs called rioting and looting slogans, not solutions, and added that true solutions would be investments in education, job creation and housing, and openness to other cultures, beliefs and viewpoints.

“We will not achieve justice through slogans,” Underwood-Jacobs said. “We will not achieve equality through social media posts.  We will not end discrimination by using the word ‘all.’  As in ‘All black people are bad’ or ‘All Cops are Bastards.’ Both of those statements are discriminatory, wrong, thoughtless, and terminate any meaningful discussion before it can begin.”

As of Tuesday, June 16, an online fundraiser launched by the supervisor of the federal officers to support their families had raised more than $177,000. To donate, click here.