Calif. Cop Killer May Have Stolen Police Guns

New details released about what happened moments after two Santa Cruz police officers were shot and killed

By Lisa Fernandez
|  Thursday, Feb 28, 2013  |  Updated 3:05 PM EDT
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A witness recorded this footage of a firefight between police officers and a gunman on Feb. 26, 2013, in the 800 block of North Branciforte Avenue in Santa Cruz, Calif. Dozens of gunshots can be heard echoing in the residential neighborhood where the shooting happened, killing two police officers and the gunman. <a href=Click here to read the full story." />

A witness recorded this footage of a firefight between police officers and a gunman on Feb. 26, 2013, in the 800 block of North Branciforte Avenue in Santa Cruz, Calif. Dozens of gunshots can be heard echoing in the residential neighborhood where the shooting happened, killing two police officers and the gunman. Click here to read the full story.

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Two Santa Cruz Police Officers Killed

The two officers who died, Det. Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker and Det. Elizabeth Butler, had a combined 38 years of experience with the Santa Cruz Police Department. NBC Bay Area's George Kiriyama and Terry McSweeney report from Santa Cruz.
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The 35-year-old man who killed two Santa Cruz, Calif., police officers before being killed himself on Tuesday was angry, distraught and likely stole the service weapons off  police after he shot them dead and stole their car.

That's what Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak said Wednesday at a news conference was a key part of his agency's investigation into why Jeremy Goulet had three weapons — and body armor — when he was found dead after a gun battle with police.

Two of those weapons, Wowak said, likely belonged to Det. Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker and Det. Elizabeth Butler, who were both killed about 3:30 p.m. as they were following up on a sexual assault allegation against Goulet in the 800 block of North Branciforte Avenue. They died at Goulet's doorstep. Wowak said Wednesday that both officers had been "disarmed."

Still, Wowak said the matter needed to be investigated. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that Goulet owned a .40-caliber semi-automatic Sig Sauer and a Baretta and another gun that wasn't identified.

Wowak also said that after Goulet killed the two officers, he then stole Baker's car and hid in the neighborhood while a massive dragnet that included the FBI, the sheriff's department, as well as Capitola, Watsonville and Scotts Valley police departments and the California Highway Patrol searched for him.

They found Goulet on Doyle Street. That's where teams of officers shot and killed him in hail of gunfire.

The in-the-line-of-duty police deaths are the first for the city of Santa Cruz.

"They were just doing their jobs," Wowak said. "They had done this thousands of times. There should be no second guessing what they had been doing."

Wowak described Goulet, a barista at a harbor coffee shop who had been recently fired over sexual assault allegations, as "destructive in nature," "unhappy in life" and either "suicidal or homicidal." He also said Goulet had been arrested twice in the last week for being drunk in public.

His father, Ronald Goulet, told the Associated Press that his son had numerous run-ins with the law.

Indeed, Jeremy Goulet was found guilty in 2008 of peeping at a woman while she showered in Portland, Ore., and also was convicted of carrying a gun without a permit.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported he was arrested last week for disorderly conduct, and was fired Saturday from his job as a barista at a harbor coffee shop. 

Goulet apparently broke into a co-worker's house on Friday and made inappropriate sexual advances toward her, according to a coffee shop employee who spoke to the paper. He was fired from the coffee shop on Saturday, the newspaper reported.

The female barista filed a police report and talked to police as late as Tuesday afternoon. That may have been what sent investigators back to Goulet's residence Tuesday.

Goulet used to live in Berkeley with his twin brother for about a year, according to a former neighbor, Alicia Morrison. She said she used to housesit for the brothers who would sometimes get into "pretty violent fights."

"I had no idea he would be gun violent, even violent in general," she said. "I thought he was just a peeper, just a little peeper creeper, not an actual violent person."

Goulet also once worked at Cole Coffee in Oakland, where the owner said he was fired after six months for not following company policies.

Because of the tragedy, all Santa Cruz police officers were off work Wednesday. The city was protected by the sheriff's office and the CHP. Churches opened their doors, schools flew their flags t half staff and countless people stopped by City Hall to place flowers and candles at a growing memorial for the slain officers.

Baker had been with the department for 28 years and leaves behind a wife, Kelly, two daughters, Gillian and Ashley, and a son, Adam, who works for the department as a community service officer. 

Butler leaves her partner, Peter, and two young sons. She had carved out a niche in sexual assaults, Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel said. She grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she earned a degree in community studies.

The city was trying to do its best in the wake of such grief.

As Santa Cruz County Supervisor Zach Friend said: "There is nothing good about this morning. We lost our dear friends yesterday. We lost two community heroes."

 

 NBC Bay Area's Jodi Hernandez contributed to this report.

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