Santa Cruz Police Detective Elizabeth Butler, 38, and another officer were shot and killed February 26th while investigating a sexual assault. One suspect was also killed.
The tragic information was released by Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak while a manhunt continued to find the gunman.
The first shooting, involving the officers, occurred at a house on the 800 block of North Branciforte Avenue about 3:30 p.m. Santa Cruz police were investigating a sexual assault when the suspect fired at them, hitting Detective Butler and Sgt Loren Baker. The officers were found dead outside the house.
Multiple law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, launched a countywide manhunt and the sheriff’s office took over the investigation.
The second shooting, involving the suspect, Jeremy Goulet, 35, occurred on nearby Doyle Street about 30 minutes later. A gun battle erupted in the streets about a mile from a boardwalk popular with tourists. A fire engine was peppered with bullets. Firefighters ran to shield civilians who happened to be in the streets. In one case, police said, a firefighter covered a civilian on the ground to shield that person from the gunfire. A barrage of gunfire from law enforcement and Goulet followed. Goulet was killed at the scene.
The deaths of these two officers are the first in the history of the Santa Cruz Police Department.
Detective Butler was a 10 year veteran of the department and leaves behind her partner, Peter, and two young sons ages 5 and 1.