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Jeremy Goulet

SANTA CRUZ -- Investigators say Santa Cruz cop killer Jeremy Goulet had no connection to a 28-year-old homeless woman whom deputies had once sought for questioning in the case.

Authorities spoke to Terisa "Lamb" Johnson and Goulet while both were in a Santa Cruz homeless camp in February, Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputy April Skalland said. Deputies again talked to Johnson on March 5 -- a week after the killings -- and determined she didn't know Goulet but "happened to be (at the camp) at the same time," Skalland said.

"We thought she had more of a relationship with him," Skalland said.

Goulet was not arrested during the February stop and deputies have not said what prompted the contact or why he was there. Goulet lived on the 800 block of North Branciforte Avenue.

Goulet, 35, shot and killed police Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker and detective Elizabeth Butler on Feb. 26 while they were trying to question him at his home about a groping complaint filed by a neighbor, authorities said. Goulet was shot to death by authorities about 30 minutes later.

The Sheriff's Office is expected to give a report to the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Office to show three Santa Cruz police officers and one sheriff's deputy were justified in shooting Goulet, who had returned to the scene after taking Baker's vehicle.

Sheriff Phil Wowak said Monday investigators are still seeking Goulet's military records and other information. He expected the report to be finished in mid-April.


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Wowak clarified some details about the minutes that led up to the shooting, including why Santa Cruz firefighters in the crossfire thought they were responding to a domestic dispute.

Baker and Butler were in plainclothes on the North Branciforte Avenue looking for Goulet's home just before 3 p.m. Feb. 26, Wowak said. A neighbor asked the pair what they were doing, not knowing they were detectives.

They got in a heated discussion that prompted another neighbor to call 911 to report a confrontation that appeared to be a domestic dispute, Wowak said.

Wowak said Baker and Butler eventually found Goulet's home and spoke to him through a window on the porch, not a door, as previously by authorities. They wanted to talk to him about a report that he broke in to his co-worker's home and touched her sleeping roommate's leg, Wowak said.

The officers weren't necessarily planning to arrest Goulet, but he came out of the front door and shot Baker and Butler to death, Wowak said. They had been in the neighborhood for about 10 minutes but it was unclear how long they were on Goulet's doorstep.

The detectives knew of Goulet's acquittal on 2007 charges of attempted murder with a gun in Oregon, and investigators are working with the California Department of Justice to see how deeply the detectives researched Goulet's record before arriving at his doorstep.

"We've inundated the DOJ with inquiries about Goulet," Wowak said. "I don't know that we're ever going to know what (the detectives) knew at the door. What they knew kind of died with them."

Goulet was accused but not convicted of rape twice while in the military in Hawaii in 2006. Two years later, he was convicted of misdemeanors in a peeping case in Portland, Ore., where he fought with the victim's boyfriend and fired a gun.

In 2011 in Berkeley, he pleaded guilty to peering in a woman's home.

Goulet had three legally registered handguns but sold two of them a few years ago, Wowak said.

Nothing in California's background check to buy a gun would have stopped a lawful handgun sale, Wowak said, in part because Goulet was not a convicted felon.

Follow Sentinel reporter Stephen Baxter on Twitter at Twitter.com/sbaxter_sc