Alleged killer of 2 Santa Cruz cops told brother he was in trouble
Jeremy Peter Goulet, suspected of killing two Santa Cruz police officers, sent a text message that day to his twin brother, Jeffrey Goulet, saying he was in trouble, his father told the San Francisco Chronicle.
"Why was he on the run? I'm just trying to hang with it, to make sense of it," his father, Ronald Goulet of Rosamond, told the Chronicle.
Jeremy 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 killings of the officers marked "the darkest day" in the Police Department's history, the police chief said.
"This is a horrific day. We lost two exceptionally fine officers," a visibly shaken Police Chief Kevin Vogel told reporters. "We need to figure out a way to bring our department together and get through this."
The slain officers were identified late Tuesday as Elizabeth Butler and Loren "Butch" Baker. Butler hailed from Torrance and was a 10-year Santa Cruz Police Department veteran, police said. Baker was a 28-year veteran.
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.
Goulet had recently moved to Santa Cruz and enjoyed the beach, his father said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Ronald Goulet said his son was a gun collector and practiced shooting at targets but that he was not violent, the Chronicle reported.
"He does have guns," the elder Goulet told the Chronicle. "He's a collector and he does target practice. But I don't think he's going to be shooting anyone."
Ronald Goulet told the Chronicle that the family had not been able to reach Jeremy Goulet on Tuesday.
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 state 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.
On Tuesday night, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office had taken over patrol duties in the city 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 family of the deceased officers."
The deadly shootings Tuesday followed a commitment by the Santa Cruz City Council to increase funding for the Police Department, which is running about nine officers short.
-- Lee Romney and Maria L. La Ganga in San Francisco and Robert J. Lopez and Hailey Branson-Potts in Los Angeles