Two city of Santa Cruz police officers were killed while on duty Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 26, and the suspected gunman was shot and killed during a firefight with law enforcement shortly afterward.
→Click here to watch a video of Sheriff Phil Wowak describing the situation to the media.
The officers were identified as Detective Sgt. Loren Butch Baker, a 28-year veteran of the department, and Detective Elizabeth Butler, a 10-year veteran of the department.
The suspected gunman was identified as Jeremy Peter Goulet, a 35-year-old man who lived in Santa Cruz.
According to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, the detectives were investigating domestic violence or sexual assault at 3:30 p.m. in the area of Branciforte Drive and Doyle Street within the Santa Cruz city limits.
Goulet opened fire and killed the two officers while all three were outside the place where Goulet lived. Goulet then allegedly stole Baker’s car and left the scene.
Law enforcement agencies in Santa Cruz County responded immediately.
While emergency teams were searching for Goulet, Goulet parked the car on Doyle Street and advanced toward the scene of the fatal shooting armed with a firearm. He was seen by law enforcement on the other side of a fence and ordered to surrender, but fled.
He was then confronted by a multi-agency law enforcement team, and he began firing at them. He was killed during the firefight that followed.
The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office conducted the primary investigation, and the Santa Cruz Police Department and district attorney worked together with the sheriff’s office, following county protocol.
Baker leaves behind a wife, two daughters and a son who works as a community service officer for the Santa Cruz Police Department.
Butler is survived by her partner and two young boys.
Scotts Valley Police Department sent its SWAT truck, with two detectives and at least seven officers, to help Tuesday, said Lt. John Wilson. The department is not involved in the investigation.
During a press conference Tuesday night, Chief Kevin Vogel called Tuesday “the darkest day in the history of the Santa Cruz Police Department.”
The department had never had an officer killed in the line of duty before Tuesday.
Click here to watch a video of Sheriff Phil Wowak describing the situation to the media.
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