Slain Santa Cruz officer moved to city to study and stayed


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Santa Cruz police Det. Elizabeth Butler loved the taste of a morning bun rolled in sugar at Kelly’s French Bakery in Santa Cruz and the night view of the city’s beach boardwalk from the Fireball roller coaster.


Butler moved to Santa Cruz from the Los Angeles area in 1992 to study at UC Santa Cruz and stayed in the city, where she became a police detective, she wrote on a Santa Cruz Police Department blog in June 2011.

PHOTOS: Killing of 2 Santa Cruz police officers

Butler was one of two Santa Cruz police officers killed in a shootout Tuesday in a burst of violence that rocked the seaside community about 60 miles south of San Francisco.The shootings began about 3:30 p.m. when a man opened fire on the officers, who were conducting a follow-up criminal investigation at a home, law enforcement authorities said.

The man suspected in the killings, Jeremy Peter Goulet, 35, was fatally wounded in a shootout with authorities about 30 minutes after the officers were shot and killed. Goulet was arrested Friday on suspicion of disorderly conduct at the same location where the two officers were killed, according to the sheriff’s online records.

The slain officers were identified late Tuesday as Butler and Sgt. Loran ‘Butch’ Baker.

[Updated at 9:39 a.m., Feb. 27: The Santa Cruz Police Department has corrected the spelling of Baker’s first name from Loren to Loran.]

Butler hailed from Torrance and was a 10-year department veteran. She leaves behind a partner and two young sons, police said. She worked in the department as a patrol officer, hostage negotiator, downtown foot and bicycle officer, an agent at the county drug task force and as a detective, she wrote on the police blog.

She enjoyed ‘living and working in Santa Cruz because one can enjoy the ocean, the mountains, interesting people and a healthy lifestyle all in one spot,’ she wrote. In her free time, she enjoyed hiking and walking on area mountain trails and on the beaches, as well as cooking and spending time with her family, she wrote.


Baker was a 28-year veteran of the department, police said. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son, Adam, who is a community service worker at the Police Department. He was known to listen to the music of Journey, Air Supply and Styx at the office, according to the police blog.

Baker was nearing retirement, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported. Adam Baker had a mailbox next to his father’s at the department and started working as a community service officer soon after graduating from high school, according to the Sentinel.

On Tuesday night, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office had taken over patrol duties in the city and was leading the investigation into the shootings.


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