A man with multiple sex-related arrests surprised two police officers with a .45-caliber handgun, shot and killed them, and hit a innocent bystander in a Santa Cruz neighborhood Tuesday, the Santa Cruz County sheriff said today. The suspect, Jeremy Goulet, 35, produced the gun and killed Detective Sgt. Loran “Butch” Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butler, who were investigating a misdemeanor sex case at Goulet’s home at 822 N. Branciforte Ave. and had no idea he posed a danger, Sheriff Phil Wowak said. “The detectives had absolutely no chance to protect themselves,” Wowak said. While neither officer was wearing armor, “Body armor would not have helped,” Wowak said, who declined to say where they were shot, citing sensitivity to their families. “Sgt. Baker has done this thousands of times. There was no information to our knowledge that could have prevented this,” Wowak said. Police say Goulet shot both officers outside his front door at about 3:30 p.m. One of the shots Goulet fired hit a bystander. The bullet grazed her leg and then she found the slug, which deputies traced to a gun Goulet used.
Both Baker and Butler had made contact with Goulet shortly after 3 p.m. and spent about 20 minutes talking to him, according to Wowak. Goulet suddenly fatally shot them with a gun registered to him. Goulet then disarmed both fallen officers, took the keys to Baker’s unmarked police car, got into the car and drove onto Doyle Street, where he encountered a fire truck blocking his way. He was wearing Baker’s bulletproof vest and had both of the officers’ guns. Goulet exited the car and tried to make it back to his home on Branciforte Avenue through a back fence but was pushed back by officers. He then made his way down a driveway in front of a garage door on Doyle Street where he encountered six officers. Goulet started firing his two handguns, hitting none of the officers, but his bullet struck a Santa Cruz Fire Department truck, and other parked vehicles. Four of the six officers then opened fire and killed Goulet. Three of those officers were with the Santa Cruz Police Department and the fourth was with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. All four were placed on paid leave, as is standard procedure, Wowak said. In the days before the shootings, Goulet had been fired from his job as a result of an alleged sex crime Baker and Bulter were investigating, Wowak said. Goulet worked as a barista at the Kind Grind on the Santa Cruz harbor.
Goulet had been arrested multiple times for sex-related crimes, Wowak said, including an arrest on suspicion of rape in Hawaii and for allegedly inappropriately touching a juvenile female in Santa Cruz County. In 2008, he was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm and invasion of personal privacy in Portland, Ore., and arrested for two separate peeping tom incidents in San Diego in 1999 and 2000, and convicted for one of those arrests. Goulet graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in criminal justice in 2000. Before moving to Santa Cruz in November 2012, Goulet had been lived in Berkeley, where on Aug. 6 he was arrested for peeping and prowling, according to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. He pleaded guilty to one of the misdemeanor charges Aug. 22. When police approached Goulet’s body after the shootout, they found three handguns and his passport and a plane ticket to New Mexico on his person, Wowak said. He was due to fly out later this week. A relative of Goulet’s who lives in Hobbs, N.M., said Wednesday afternoon her family did not want to comment.