Federal charges of plotting to incite a riot and committing an act of violence to spark a riot have been brought against a Texas man claiming to be a member of the Boogaloo Bois, a militant extremist group, with prosecutors claiming the man opened fire on a Minneapolis police precinct as part of a plot to foment unrest amid protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
In a federal criminal complaint (pdf) released Friday, and as detailed in an attached affidavit, Ivan Harrison Hunter, a 26-year-old from Boerne, Texas, traveled to Minnesota at the end of May to organize, participate in, and engage in a riot, and committed “an act of violence in furtherance of a riot.”
FBI Special Agent Jason Bujold said in the affidavit that Hunter claimed to be a member of the Boogaloo Bois, which the complaint describes as a “loosely-connected group of individuals espousing violent anti-government sentiments” and that the group’s name “references a supposedly impending second civil war in the United States and is associated with violent uprisings against the government.”
The complaint details a series of messages allegedly exchanged between Hunter and other Boogaloo Bois members ahead of a planned trip to Minnesota in late May, when Minneapolis and St. Paul saw widespread arson, rioting, and looting, partly in response to the police custody death of Floyd.
“Lock and load boys. Boog flags are in the air, and the national network is going off,” said one of several May 27 messages allegedly posted by an admitted Boogaloo Bois member from North Carolina with whom Hunter allegedly communicated as both men departed for Minnesota. Other messages exchanged, and cited in the complaint, paint a picture of tactical and logistical communications leading up to and following an incident in which someone, allegedly Hunter, fired 13 rounds from an AK-47 style semiautomatic rifle into the Minneapolis Third Police Precinct building.
The gunman was captured on security cameras, the complaint says, with footage showing the shooter walking up to the camera and high-fiving other individuals before shouting “Justice for Floyd!” The police building was later overrun by demonstrators and severely damaged by fire.
“A cooperating defendant has identified HUNTER as the individual who fired an AK-47 style rifle at the precinct building during the evening hours of May 27,” Bujold wrote in the affidavit. “This person informed investigators that at the time HUNTER fired the shots, there were other people believed to be looters still inside the building.”
Investigators found Hunter sent messages several days later to an associate, writing, “My mom would call the fbi if she knew what I do and at the level I’m at w[ith] it.”
Hunter was arrested during a traffic stop on Oct. 21 in San Antonio, Texas, and made his initial court appearance the following day, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota.
“Several days after the traffic stop, federal agents became aware of HUNTER’s online affiliation with Boogaloo Bois member Steven Carrillo, who has been charged in the Northern District of California with the May 29, 2020, murder of a Federal Protective Service Officer in Oakland, California,” the attorney’s office said in a release.
The case falls under the scope of the Attorney General’s Task Force to Combat Violent Anti-Government Extremism (pdf), established earlier this year to help prosecute individuals and groups that commit violence in the name of an anti-government ideology.