This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
The killings of two Santa Cruz police officers in
a shootout with a suspect Tuesday marked the first line-of-duty deaths in the Police Department's history and sparked mourning across the seaside city.
Residents placed candles near the scene of the shooting and memorials were popping up on websites.
Analicia Cube, who founded the community group Take Back Santa Cruz
in late 2009, called the deaths “just devastating for our community.”
PHOTOS: Two Santa Cruz police officers killed
“You’re seeing people grieving and in shock,” she said. “There’s
people crying, there’s people mad."
The city, about 60 miles south of San Francisco, 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.
“Santa Cruz has always been a different, eclectic kind of town,” Cube
told The Times, breaking down in tears as she talked about the
killings. “Now it’s just gotten ugly, though.”
The Facebook group page for Take Back Santa Cruz, which is closed to
outsiders, was filled with posts Tuesday night expressing anguish and
anger, according to Cube.
“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 Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office had taken over patrol duties
in the city Tuesday night and was leading the investigation into the