Santa Cruz police officers' alleged killer 'a little odd'
Jeremy Goulet, the man suspected of killing two Santa Cruz police officers, was reserved and polite, though "a little odd," said a woman whose daughter and son-in-law live in an apartment below the one in which Goulet lived.
Diana West, who lives in San Francisco, was visiting her daughter's complex in the 2700 block of Benvenue Avenue in Berkeley on Wednesday morning. Her daughter and son-in-law, Alicia and Andrew Morrison, had introduced her to Goulet.
"The more they got to know him, the stranger he got to be," West said. "Toward the end of his stay, they didn't want much to do with him."
Goulet, 35, was fatally wounded in a shootout with authorities about 30 minutes after two Santa Cruz police officers were shot and killed in a burst of violence that rocked the eclectic seaside community about 60 miles south of San Francisco.
The shootings began about 3:30 p.m. when a man, believed to be Goulet, opened fire on the two officers, who were conducting a follow-up criminal investigation at a home, law enforcement authorities said.
The slain officers were identified late Tuesday as Elizabeth Butler and Loran "Butch" Baker. Butler hailed from Torrance and was a 10-year Santa Cruz Police Department veteran, police said. Baker was a 28-year veteran.
Goulet was arrested Friday on suspicion of disorderly conduct at the same location where the two officers were killed, according to the sheriff's online records.
News accounts from the Oregonian newspaper in Portland said that in 2008, a Jeremy Peter Goulet was sentenced to three years' probation and sex-offender treatment after a conviction for peeping at a 22-year-old woman as she showered in her northwest Portland condo.
The Oregonian also reported that jurors convicted Goulet of carrying a gun without a concealed weapons permit.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, jurors cleared Goulet of an attempted murder charge after determining his weapon went off accidentally during an altercation with the boyfriend of the woman in the shower.
He later served two years in prison after a dispute with his probation officer, the Chronicle reported. He agreed to prison time rather than undergoing court-ordered sex offender treatment, according to the Chronicle.
The Morrisons knew about Goulet's charges in Oregon, and Alicia Morrison "wasn't real thrilled about living with him right upstairs," West said. Goulet lived with his brother, West said.
"They didn't have any feelings of danger, but they felt him to be a really peculiar guy," West said. "Toward the end, they didn't want anything to do with him."
On Wednesday, the city of Santa Cruz was still reeling from the shootings. The city is best known for its famed surf spots, seaside amusement park and diverse community that includes a University of California campus.
But in recent weeks, a UC Santa Cruz student was shot in the head, another student was reportedly raped and a home-invasion robbery left residents on edge.“This is a horrific day. We lost two exceptionally fine officers,” a visibly shaken Police Chief Kevin Vogel told reporters Tuesday night. “We need to figure out a way to bring our department together and get through this.”
The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office had taken over patrol duties in the city Tuesday night and was leading the investigation into the shootings. “My primary concern at this point,” Vogel said at a news conference, “is for the safety and well-being of my officers as well as the families of the deceased officers.”
Elizabeth Butler, originally from Torrance, was a 10-year Santa Cruz Police Department veteran, police said. She was killed with Baker on Tuesday afternoon when they were conducting a follow-up criminal investigation at a home, law enforcement authorities said.
Goulet was shot dead about 30 minutes later in a second gun battle with officers, according to police. Butler and Baker "encountered Goulet as they did a search of the area. He engaged them in gunfire and was subsequently killed," Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak told reporters Tuesday night.
The loss of the two officers followed a recent series of violent incidents in the city and was especially devastating for the small Police Department, which has about 90 sworn officers. Baker is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son who is a community service worker at the Police Department.
Butler leaves behind a partner and two young sons, Vogel said.ALSO:
-- Maria L. La Ganga in Berkeley and Hailey Branson-Potts in Los Angeles