South Bay News

2 Santa Cruz police officers killed in shootout with suspect

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Santa Cruz shooting scene Two police officers and a suspect were shot and killed Tuesday afternoon in Santa Cruz. Police update on Santa Cruz shooting that left 2 officers dead

A Santa Cruz police officer and detective were killed Tuesday in a shootout that also left the suspect dead.

In a press conference Tuesday night, Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel said the two killed were Det. Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker and Det. Elizabeth Butler.

Baker was a 28-year veteran of the department who was close to retirement. He leaves behind a wife, two daughters and a son, who works as a community service officer for the department. Butler was a 10-year veteran and leaves behind two young sons.

Police say gunfire broke out just after 3:30 p.m. as Baker and Butler were conducting an investigation in the area North Branciforte Avenue and Doyle Street. Authorities will not reveal why the officers were at the home, but as soon as they arrived, things turned deadly.

"An altercation ensued between the detectives and Goulet and both detectives were killed at scene," Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak said.

A witness near the scene on North Branciforte Avenue described hearing a large amount of gunfire before being ordered by police to stay inside.

About 10 minutes after the initial shooting, sheriff's deputies and police cornered the suspect, identified as 35-year-old Jeremy Goulet. He was killed following a brief pursuit.

The FBI, Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department and other nearby agencies assisted in the search for additional suspects. Wowak says while they do not believe there are any additional suspects at large and there is no longer a threat to public safety, law enforcement officials are continuing to search the neighborhood as a precaution and as part of their investigation. Wowak says there are multiple crime scenes and officials will be out investigating for most of the night and into Wednesday.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department has taken over the investigation, as well as patrolling city streets while the department deals with its loss. Before Tuesday the Santa Cruz Police Department had never lost an officer in the line of duty.

Several schools in the area, including Branciforte Middle School and Costa Noa High School, were placed on lockdown due to the police activity. About four hours after the shooting began, students, including children from a preschool, were bussed to a location where they were picked up by their parents.

The death of the officers has shaken the close-knit Santa Cruz community. While officers gathered at the police department's community room to mourn, citizens formed a small memorial in the courtyard for others to drop off flowers and pray. A volunteer chaplain attended the officers meeting. Down the street, the Calvary Episcopal Church opened its doors to the community.

The suspect's father says Goulet was a former Marine who flew Blackhawk helicopters and recently moved to Santa Cruz .

In 2008, Goulet was convicted in Portland, Oregon after several peeping tom cases. In one of those incidents he removed a window screen to watch a woman who was showering. He was carrying a gun which went off during a struggle with the woman's boyfriend. Goulet was sentenced to three years' probation, but was sent back to jail after peeping into windows during a visit with his probation officer.

According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, on Friday Goulet allegedly broke into the home of a co-worker from the coffee shop and made in appropriate sexual advances. The co-worker filed a police report and spoke to police as late as Tuesday afternoon.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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