LORAN ‘BUTCH’ BAKER

LORAN ‘BUTCH’ BAKER

Santa Cruz Police Sgt. Loran ‘Butch’ Baker, 51, and another officer were shot and killed February 26th. One suspect was also killed.

The first shooting occurred at a house on the 800 block of North Branciforte Avenue about 3:30 p.m.  The officers were investigating a reported sexual assault when the suspect fired at them, hitting Sgt Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butler. The suspect then took their weapons, stole their vehicle and fled. 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.

Sgt Baker was a 28 year veteran of the department and leaves behind a wife, Kelly, two daughters, Gillian and Ashley, and a son, Adam, who works for the police department as a community service officer.