News Column

Santa Cruz Police Shooter Was Leaving Town, Sheriff Says

March 6, 2013

Stephen Baxter, Santa Cruz Sentinel, Calif.

Jeremy Peter Goulet was moving out of his house when Santa Cruz police detectives arrived at his door last week.

He lost his job at a coffee shop, had sold his motorcycle and was getting rid of his belongings in preparation for a flight to New Mexico, where he has family, deputies said.

Investigators have not said if Goulet planned to move there, but Goulet told his housemates that he was leaving.

Santa Cruz County sheriff's investigators on Tuesday continued to fit the puzzle pieces together in the life of Goulet, the 35-year-old man who shot and killed Santa Cruz police Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker and detective Elizabeth Butler on Feb. 26.

Sheriff Phil Wowak said it was not yet clear if Goulet planned to move because he was fired, because he was accused of groping his co-worker's roommate in her bed or because other relationships in Santa Cruz had soured.

A combination of those factors might have prompted his move, Wowak said.

"We're putting together the likely path that he was now jobless and he was in conflict with a number of people," Wowak said.

When the Sheriff's Office report is complete, it is expected to be given to the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Office to show justification in the use of force against Goulet, whom police shot and killed, and provide a more complete account for the Baker and Butler families.

"It will give us the ability to work with the families in their grieving

process about how this happened and why this happened," Wowak said. "The really sad part is that the end result of the investigation doesn't change that we lost two wonderful people and excellent investigators."

Wowak said investigators now know that Butler and Baker had knowledge of nearly every arrest and prosecution that Goulet faced, including in Hawaii, Oregon and Berkeley. Investigators were waiting to receive hard copies of police and military reports, but they already interviewed many authorities involved with those cases.

Last week, investigators requested in writing the reports from the Marine Corps and Army. It was unclear when those reports would arrive so the report to the DA's Office could be completed.

Goulet was accused of rape twice in the Army in Hawaii in 2006 but was discharged without a conviction, his defense attorney in Hawaii has said. A conviction would have landed him life in prison. He was charged with attempted murder with a gun in Portland, Ore., in 2007, but was only convicted of misdemeanors, according to court records.

He moved to Berkeley in 2012, where he was accused of peering into a house. He took a plea deal for 20 days in jail and three years of probation.

Investigators interviewed many people Goulet knew, including his mother, his twin brother and two men with whom he lived.

His father, Ronald Goulet, told the Associated Press that his son's voyeurism often got him in trouble.

"He wanted to restart his life. He was really upset at the system. ... He already had anger management issues, so everything was coming to a head," Ronald Goulet said. "He swore up and down that he would not spend one more day in jail."

Tuesday, deputies said they were still looking for Santa Cruz residents who knew Goulet -- including Terisa "Lamb" Johnson, 28.

Johnson, who has no connection to the detectives' murders, was an acquaintance and possibly dated Goulet, Wowak said. However, details of their relationship remain unclear because authorities have not contacted her.

Johnson was last known to be living in a Santa Cruz homeless camp and frequented Santa Cruz, Live Oak and Soquel, said Sgt. Patrick Dimick.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office asks anyone with information to call the investigations division at 831-454-2311 or the anonymous tipline at 831-454-5995.

Follow Sentinel reporter Stephen Baxter on Twitter at

Jeremy Goulet's troubled past

June 1996: Enlists in U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

April 1998: Enrolls in a Marine Corps officer candidate program.

February, April 2000: Cited in Peeping Tom cases in San Diego.

December 2000: Unenrolls from Marine Corps officer candidate program, according to military sources.

June 2002: Discharged from the Marine Corps, several months after unit is called to active duty.

January 2004: Joins U.S. Army, assigned to Fort Rucker in Alabama for training. Becomes Blackhawk helicopter pilot.

March 2005: Stationed in Honduras.

April 2006: Stationed in Hawaii. Court-martialed on successive charges of raping female officers. Under plea deal, military drops rape charges for an "other than honorable" discharge.

February 2007: Officially discharged from military.

March 2007: Moves to Portland, Ore.

Late 2007: Charged with privacy invasion, gun and attempted murder charges. Convicted only of two misdemeanors. After he failed to comply with court-ordered treatment, judge imposes stiff back-to-back year sentences.

April 2010: Released from Portland jail.

September 2011: Moves to Berkeley.

August 2012: Accused of peering into a house, takes plea deal for 20 days in jail and three years of probation.

Late 2012: Moves to Santa Cruz, starts working at harbor-area coffee shop.

Feb. 22, 2013: Breaks into co-worker's home and allegedly groped her leg in her bed. Arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct, released without paying bail.

FEB. 23: Fired from his job at a coffee shop.

FEB. 26: Opens fire on two police detectives who came to his door following up on the groping accusation, killing both. Goulet killed about 30 minutes later in a shootout.

Source: (c)2013 Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.) Distributed by MCT Information Services