SANTA CRUZ -- Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak said murder suspect Jeremy Peter Goulet disarmed two Santa Cruz police detectives after he shot them to death Tuesday and stole their car.
"Goulet made statements intending harm to people or the police," Wowak said at a press conference Wednesday.
Ronald Goulet, the father of the Jeremy Goulet, told The Associated Press on Wednesday his son was a ticking time bomb who had contempt for police and the justice system.
Goulet swore he would never go back to jail, Ronald Goulet told The AP. He said he never thought his son would turn to such violence.
Wowak said Goulet was wearing body armor and had three guns in his possession, detectives learned Tuesday night.
Wowak said the officers who killed Goulet likely saved the lives of others.
"Officers stopped an imminent threat to the community and neutralized it," Wowak said.
People who knew Goulet said he was "despondent, distraught and destructive in nature" based on recent personal events, Wowak said.
The two Santa Cruz police officers, detective Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker, 51, and detective Elizabeth Butler, 38, were shot and killed on the doorstep of Goulet's home on the 800 block of North Branciforte Avenue about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Goulet stole Baker's car and fled to nearby Doyle Street. Carrying three guns, he parked the car and jumped a wall of an apartment complex on Doyle. Responding officers
Wowak said Santa Cruz firefighters who responded to help the fallen officers were caught up in the active police scene.
When Goulet exchanged gunfire with police, at least one firefighter shielded a woman as Goulet's bullets pelted a fire truck, authorities said.
"At least one, if not more fire department personnel actually took one citizen witness to the ground trying to save her from possibly being struck by gunfire," Wowak said. "The fire personnel that were on that truck assisted the citizens that were caught in the area to safety."
He thanked the firefighters for their service.
On Wednesday, a group of about 10, including officers and their union representatives, came to the Doyle Street address to go over the shooting.
Baker was a 28-year veteran of the department. Butler was a 10-year veteran. They are the first officers to die in the line of duty in the city's history.
"We at the Santa Cruz Police Department are deeply saddened by the loss of detective Sgt. Butch Baker and detective Elizabeth Butler," Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel said Wednesday. "We are a small department and consider ourselves family."
Vogel, who was Baker's partner in the early 1990s, said he considered Butch a mentor and friend. Vogel said during Baker's tenure as a field training officer he was a "remarkable teacher, coach and mentor who trained a lot of the staff," including himself.
Baker and Butler were investigating a sexual assault incident involving Goulet. Vogel described Baker as the best detective on the force.
Wowak added that they had no reason to believe that Goulet would be violent.
"There is no such thing as routine police work. However, the information that they possessed at the time they went out to contact this suspect gave them no suspicion that they were in danger," Wowak said.
"I've known (Butch) for 28 years and he's done this thousands of times," he said. "There should be no suspicion or second guessing as to how they wound up where they were. They were just doing their job."
It's unknown whether the officers were wearing bullet-proof vests. They were not in uniform.
Goulet's father Ronald said his son had an insatiable desire to peep in the windows of women showering or getting dressed.
"He's got one problem, peeping in windows," his father said in a halting emotional voice. "I asked him, 'Why don't you just go to a strip club?' He said he wants a good girl that doesn't know she's being spied on, and said he couldn't stop doing it."
Jeffery Goulet, the suspect's twin brother, released a statement Wednesday saying his family was deeply saddened by the events in Santa Cruz.
"We would also like to extend our deepest sympathies to the families of Sgt. Loran Baker and detective Elizabeth Butler," it said.
Goulet was arrested Friday night on a drunken disorderly charge, allegedly for breaking into a former co-worker's house. Goulet, a former employee of a harbor-area coffee shop, was fired Saturday because of the incident, according to co-workers who asked not to be identified.
Goulet apparently made inappropriate advances to the co-worker whose house he broke into Friday and again Tuesday. That co-worker spoke to police as late as Tuesday. The coffee shop was closed by police after Tuesday's shooting for safety reasons.
Goulet, 35, has a criminal history dating back to at least 2008, including a conviction on misdemeanor sex and gun charges in Portland, Ore., according to an article on the Oregonian's website. He was found guilty of peeping at a 22-year-old woman as she showered in her condo and of carrying a concealed weapon, which went off after Goulet was confronted outside by the victim's boyfriend, according to the article. He was put on probation in that case, but decided to serve a two-year jail sentence because he couldn't get along with his probation officer, the article said.
He reportedly had three weapons registered to him ,including a .40-caliber semi-automatic Sig Sauer and a Beretta.
The shooting comes after several weeks of unrest in Santa Cruz, including a downtown slaying, the Westside shooting of a UC Santa Cruz student, and the rape of another woman on campus. There also was a violent robbery at a Westside grocery store and a home-invasion robbery on the Eastside.
Since the shooting and throughout Wednesday and part of Thursday, Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputies and officers from the California Highway Patrol are covering the city of Santa Cruz. The entire department was off Wednesday as officers cope with the loss.
"There are as many officers patrolling the streets today as yesterday," Vogel said. "They are just wearing a different uniform."
Santa Cruz police will resume coverage as early as Thursday, Vogel said.
"It's been devastating," he said. "There are no words for me to describe what my department's been going through," thanking those who have offered support, both in the community and throughout the country.
Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday, "It is with deep sadness that Anne and I honor the bravery of Sgt. Baker and officer Butler, who were killed Tuesday while protecting the people of Santa Cruz. Our deepest condolences go to their families, the Santa Cruz Police Department and the community as we mourn these tragic deaths."
Attorney General Kamala Harris said, "On behalf of the California Department of Justice, I extend my deepest sympathies to the families of Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker and detective Elizabeth Butler. These dedicated law enforcement professionals, who died in brave service to the people of California, will never be forgotten. My thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones, and with the Santa Cruz Police Department."
Sheriff's detectives ask anyone with information on the case to call investigations at 454-2311 or the anonymous tipline at 454-2847.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Follow City Editor Julie Copeland on Twitter at Twitter.com/jcopeland_sc