Shooting suspect Jeremy Peter Goulet, 35, reportedly shot and killed two Santa Cruz Police officers before taking their guns and stealing their car on Tuesday afternoon after they responded to a call of a domestic disturbance at a Branciforte Avenue home.
According to Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak, speaking at a press conference Wednesday morning, Goulet was a suspect in a misdemeanor sexual assault case. He opened the door and shot the investigating officers.
According to Wowak, Goulet then stole the officer's weapons before stealing Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker's car. However, he stayed in the neighborhood, where two or three teams of officers found him on foot as they did a sweep following the shooting.
One officer pushed Goulet out of the suspect's backyard to Doyle Street, where Goulet had parked Butch's car, Wowak said.
Another team met Goulet on Doyle, where he shot at officers and they returned fire, killing him. Medics, firefighters and residents all were on the street when it happened, Wowak said. Firefighters tackled residents to keep them out of harm's way.
"We know now that he was distraught. We know now that he had intentions of harming people," Wowak said.
Goulet had told people of his intentions beforehand, but police were not aware of them, Wowak said. He was wearing body armor at the time of the shooting, which Wowak said he might have stolen from one of the fallen officers.
"Goulet was despondant, destraught" and upset about recent personal events which were angry and destructive in nature, Wowak said. "He made specific comments about being unhappy in life and that led them to believe that he was either suicidal or homicidal," Wowak said.
The officers involved prevented a much worse outcome, Wowak said.
Goulet was arrested for a misdemeanor — public intoxication — within the past week, Wowak said.
Santa Cruz Police officers are off duty until Thursday. California Highway Patrol and Santa Cruz County Sheriff's deputies are filling in.
If community members have any photos, video or other information Wowak asked them to please share it with his office at www.scsheriff.com or by calling 454-2311.