Deaths of two police officers shock and sadden Santa Cruz
As more than 100 people prepared to participate in a rally against gun violence at the Town Clock tower on Tuesday, Feb. 26, event organizer Gini Bianchi says multiple police cars suddenly screeched past the crowd, heading rapidly in the direction of Water Street and Branciforte Avenue.
Just after 3:30 p.m., more police cars, paramedic vehicles and a Santa Cruz Fire Truck with its horn blaring raced past, and a moment later helicopters were circling overhead.
Santa Cruz Police Department detectives Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker and Elizabeth Butler, who were following up on a sexual assault charge called in earlier that week, contacted the 35-year-old suspect Jeremy Goulet at his Branciforte Avenue home. He then gunned down both officers on his doorstep, according Sheriff Phil Wowak and Deputy April Skalland, who spoke during a press conference at the SCPD station on the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 27.
Authorities say Goulet then took the officers' weapons and stole Baker's car.