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Category: Officer Involved Shootings

One of 2 slain Santa Cruz officers was from L.A. area, police say

Officers swarm Santa Cruz shooting scene Tuesday
One of the two Santa Cruz police officers slain in a shootout was raised in the Los Angeles area, authorities said Tuesday night.

Elizabeth Butler hailed from Torrance and was a 10-year Santa Cruz Police Department veteran, police said. She was killed with 28-year veteran Loren "Butch" Baker on Tuesday afternoon, when they were conducting a follow-up criminal investigation at a home, law enforcement authorities said.

The suspected shooter, Jeremy Peter Goulet, 35, 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 94 sworn officers.

“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.”

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.

"This is the darkest day in the history of the Santa Cruz Police Department," Vogel told reporters Tuesday night.

Analicia Cube, who founded the community group Take Back Santa Cruz in late 2009, called the deaths “just devastating for our community.”

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 39-year-old business owner and mother of two had just walked into a City Council meeting Tuesday afternoon when Chief Vogel ran past her and sped off in his cruiser. Then her phone rang. A group member had heard it on the scanner: two officers down.

An hour later, as rumors circulated through the chambers, Mayor Hilary Bryant declared a five-minute recess. When council members emerged from a closed session, some were crying.

As the incident unfolded, Santa Cruz police issued an alert for a Jeremy Peter Goulet, 35, but did not explain his potential role.

News accounts from the Oregonian newspaper in Portland state that 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 also convicted Goulet of carrying a gun without a concealed weapons permit.

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.

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.”

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.

“You’re seeing people grieving and in shock,” she said. “There’s people crying, there’s people mad. People are starting to talk about carrying guns around.”

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--Maria L. La Ganga and Lee Romney in San Francisco and Robert J. Lopez in Los Angeles

Photo: Officers swarm shooting scene. Credit: Dan Coyro/ Associated Press/Santa Cruz Sentinel

San Diego sheriff urges background checks before all gun sales

An armored vehicle arrives as a SWAT standoff begins Wednesday.
The day after two of his deputies were shot by a person he described as mentally disturbed, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore called for improvements in the nation's mental health system and universal background checks for anyone seeking to buy a firearm.

"I am tired of driving to San Diego not knowing if my deputy is going to live or die," Gore said Thursday. "There's not one solution to curbing this violence, but there are common-sense steps we can take to make it safer for my deputies and the public."

Deputy Colin Snodgrass, 27, was shot in the leg, and Deputy James Steinmeyer, 31, suffered a grazing wound to the head in what Gore said was a confrontation with 22-year-old Evan Kim Tian Kwik at Kwik's mother's home in the Leucadia neighborhood of Encinitas.

Snodgrass underwent surgery and was listed in stable condition; Steinmeyer was treated and released. Kwik died, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, after a 10-hour standoff with a SWAT squad.

Kwik's mother had received a temporary restraining order against him, citing emotional problems and volatility. She called deputies Wednesday after her son stormed into the house, officials said. After deputies attempted to subdue him with tear gas, he opened fire, setting off the SWAT action, authorities said.

Deputies entered the home shortly before 2 a.m. Thursday and found Kwik dead. A shotgun was found in the house.

Gore noted that four of his deputies had been shot in recent months. Two were wounded in September during a gun battle with a child-abuse suspect in Lakeside; both survived and underwent surgery.

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Shooting began with mother seeking restraining order against son

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: An armored vehicle arrives as a SWAT standoff begins Wednesday with a suspect in the shooting of two San Diego County deputies. Credit: Associated Press

Shooting began with mother seeking help with abusive son

The incident that led to the wounding of two San Diego County sheriff's deputies began when a mother reported that her 22-year-old son had stormed into her home and was angry that she had taken out a restraining order against him, officials said Wednesday night.

The mother told deputies that her son had left the home in the Leucadia neighborhood of Encinitas after stealing her car, according to Capt. Duncan Fraser. Hours later, about 3 p.m. Wednesday, she called back to say that the son had returned to the home.

Arriving at the home, deputies tried to talk the son into leaving the house. When he refused, they used tear gas but he responded by opening fire, wounding two deputies, Fraser said.

One deputy was struck in the leg, the other received a grazing wound to the head. The former underwent surgery and is listed in stable condition; the other was treated released.

The Sheriff's Department SWAT team, aided by officers from the Carlsbad and Oceanside police departments, have the home surrounded and are in contact with the 22-year-old, Fraser said. Nine surrounding homes have been evacuated, with residents taken to a community center where the Red Cross is providing assistance.

At a news conference, streamed by San Diego television, Fraser called on the suspect to give up with no more gunfire. "We want this to end peacefully," he said.

The suspect's mother is not in the house, Fraser said. Sheriff's deputies have had dealings with the suspect in the past, he added.

At an earlier briefing, Sheriff Bill Gore said he is confident both wounded deputies will recover fully.

"It's been a dark few weeks for all law enforcement in Southern California," Gore said, referring to the case of fired Los Angeles Police Officer Christopher Dorner, who is suspected of killing four people, including an officer from the Riverside Police Department and a deputy from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. Dorner died last week after being cornered by officers in a cabin in the Big Bear area.

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San Diego sheriff confident 2 wounded deputies will fully recover


--Tony Perry in San Diego

 

 

 

San Diego sheriff confident 2 wounded deputies will fully recover

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said Wednesday night that he is confident that both of his deputies wounded hours earlier by gunfire will make full recoveries.

One deputy was wounded in the leg and is undergoing surgery, Gore told reporters outside the hospital where the deputy is being treated. The other deputy suffered a grazing wound to the head, he said.

"It's been a dark few weeks for all law enforcement in Southern California," Gore said, referring to the case of fired Los Angeles police Officer Christopher Dorner, who is suspected of killing four people, including an officer from the Riverside Police Department and a deputy from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. Dorner died last week after being cornered by officers in a cabin in the Big Bear area.

As Gore spoke, the SWAT team of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, aided by Carlsbad officers, was in a standoff with a suspect in the shootings, which occurred in the Leucadia neighborhood of Encinitas.

The standoff is underway in the 700 block of Del Rio Avenue, near Interstate 5. The deputies were injured by gunfire about 3:30 p.m. during a stolen car investigation. The second deputy may have been struck by a ricocheting bullet fired from inside a home.

Homes south of Del Rio Avenue have been evacuated. The man inside the home is threatening to shoot deputies who try to enter, officials said.

In September, two San Diego deputies were wounded in a gun battle with a child-abuse suspect in Lakeside. The two underwent extensive surgery but survived.

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

SWAT in standoff with man suspected of wounding two deputies

The SWAT team of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department is in a standoff with a suspect in the shooting of two deputies, officials said Wednesday afternoon.

The standoff is underway in the 700 block of Del Rio Avenue in the Leucadia neighborhood of Encinitas. The deputies were injured by gunfire about 3:30 p.m. during a stolen car investigation. Neither of the deputies suffered life-threatening injuries, officials said.

One deputy was taken to a local hospital, where he was listed in stable condition. The second was treated at the scene.

The second deputy may have been struck by a ricochet from a bullet fired from inside a home.

Homes south of Del Rio Avenue have been evacuated. The man inside the home is threatening to shoot deputies who try to enter, officials said.

The SWAT team is being assisted by Carlsbad police.

In September, two deputies were wounded in a gun battle with a child-abuse suspect in Lakeside. The two survived and underwent extensive surgery.

 

 

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--Tony Perry in San Diego

 

 

 

 

Two San Diego deputies injured by gunfire, wounds 'not life-threatening'

Approximate location of shooting shown in red.

Two San Diego County sheriff's deputies were injured Wednesday afternoon by gunfire in the Leucadia neighborhood of Encinitas, officials said.

Neither of the deputies suffered life-threatening wounds, officials said.

One was taken to a local hospital and is listed in stable condition. The other was treated at the scene. The second deputy may have been struck by a ricochet from a bullet fired from inside a home. The two were investigating reports of a stolen car.

A SWAT operation, backed by a helicopter, is underway to search for a suspected gunman.

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Map: Approximate location of shooting shown in red. Credit: Google Maps

Sheriff's deputy shot in Encinitas; SWAT action underway

Approximate location of shooting shown in red.

A San Diego County sheriff's deputy was shot Wednesday afternoon in the Leucadia neighborhood of Encinitas, officials said.

The deputy was taken to a local hospital and a SWAT action is underway for a suspected gunman.

The condition of the deputy and circumstances behind the confrontation are not yet known.

The San Diego Police Officers Assn. tweeted a message advising people to stay away from Del Rio Avenue.

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--Tony Perry in San Diego

Map: Approximate location of shooting shown in red. Credit: Google Maps

LAPD's 'protection details' end after Dorner's remains identified

PHOTOS: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

Los Angeles Police Department personnel who were protecting fellow officers allegedly threatened by Christopher Jordan Dorner are being sent back to their normal duties, Chief Charlie Beck said Thursday afternoon.

The LAPD had assigned the "protection details" to the homes of more than 50 officers and their families after they were allegedly named as targets in a manifesto that authorities say Dorner had posted on his Facebook page.

"We've taken away the protection details," Beck told The Times. He spoke shortly after authorities said they had positively identified the charred remains found in a mountain cabin Tuesday as being the body of Dorner.

PHOTOS: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

The 24-hour protection details taxed LAPD resources. The city has not released financial figures on the cost of the operation.

Becks said the ordeal in which Dorner is suspected of killing four people, including two lawmen, took a mental toll on people who were allegedly targeted. 

"We are very concerned about the mental well-being of some of people being protected and their families," he said, adding that the department would provide counseling services.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Dpeartment announced that it had made the identification using dental records during an autopsy.

TIMELINE: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

Continue reading »

Dorner may have been hiding in plain sight near command center

Though he lived only half a mile from the command center, deputies never knocked on the door of Jim Rose’s house looking for Christopher Dorner, Rose told The Times on Wednesday.

“One friend said, ‘OK, so much for the inspection,' ” Rose, 78, said.

As it turned out, wanted murder suspect Christopher Dorner appears to have been hiding in plain sight, just a five-minute walk from where law enforcement officials from multiple agencies had centered their search operation for the ex-LAPD officer.

JOIN A LIVE DISCUSSION AT 1:30 P.M.

More than 200 officers were involved the first night. Sheriff’s department officials said the search included more than 600 cabins over eight square miles.

It apparently did not include Rose's neighborhood, which it turns out, may have been where Dorner was hiding all along. The circumstance is reminiscent of the government’s search for Whitey Bulger, who was hiding under federal agents’ noses when he was captured.

"As far as I could tell, they did about as good as they could do," said Otis Farry, whose home is on Club View Drive. "Who would've known?"

PHOTOS: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

Farry's home abuts the Big Bear Lake golf course, which is across the street from the neighborhood that rises into the forest.

“I figured he was back in the woods somewhere, but the guy was right across the street,” said Bruce Doucett, 55, a certified public accountant who lives in the same condominium complex as the unit where Dorner was said to be hiding. “All I can say is that it’s a bit unnerving.”

Doucett said the condo in question had been vacant and clean since Thursday, the last time a tenant was there for a vacation rental.

TIMELINE: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

Authorities aren't sure how long Dorner might have been in the condo. But Carl Macon, 53, said it was unsettling to know he walked his dog by the condo every day. He described Dorner's alleged acts as "something out of a suspense book."

Macon said his house has been tense, despite a visit by a SWAT team Thursday night as part of the cabin checks. Despite rumors Dorner might have left the mountain, Macon said he thought chances were good the fugitive had stayed — a lot of people he knew were on their toes.

But now, Macon said, it's "time to chill."

INTERACTIVE MAP: Searching for suspected shooter

“Time to crack open the champagne,” he said.

Continue reading »

Dorner may have been in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago, police say

Las Vegas police believe that the ex-cop accused of murdering three people was at his Las Vegas home as recently as a couple of weeks ago, Assistant Sheriff Greg McCurdy said Friday afternoon.

Christopher Jordan Dorner has not been spotted in Las Vegas since the latest shooting Thursday morning, but McCurdy warned residents that he could possibly return because he owns a house and has connections in Las Vegas. Police are working closely with the FBI to follow up on any leads to assist in the investigation, he said.

FULL COVERAGE: Sweeping manhunt for ex-cop

Dorner is a highly trained fugitive with a military background, McCurdy said. “We take this very seriously,” he said. “This is a very dangerous person.”

In addition, Las Vegas police officers are now patrolling in teams of two, he said.

Dorner’s home is a two-story, white stucco house on the far western side of Las Vegas, miles from the strip. The house has been under police surveillance.

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--John Glionna

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