By JASON DEAREN and MARTHA MENDOZA, Associated Press
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) — There was no warning before Jeremy Goulet flung open his door and opened fire on two police detectives, killing them. But there was more than a decade of signs leading up to the shootings that indicated Goulet was, as his father said Wednesday, a "ticking time bomb."
This quiet beach town of Santa Cruz was reeling as teary-eyed law enforcement leaders struggled to explain how Goulet, 35, had managed to kill police detectives Sgt. Loran Butch Baker and Elizabeth Butler.
The detectives were shot to death Tuesday soon after arriving at Goulet's home in plain clothes to question him about a misdemeanor sex accusation, Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak said.
The killings kicked off a half-hour neighborhood search by police that ended in a barrage of gunfire that took the life of Goulet, a disturbed former soldier who blamed everyone but himself for his escalating problems.
"He had contempt for the cops and hated our justice system, and had been in jail before and swore he'd never go back," his father Ronald Goulet, 64, said in halted, emotional bursts during an interview with The Associated Press.
On Wednesday, Jeremy Goulet's blood remained splattered on a wall on a quiet residential street.
Wowak said that after shooting the two detectives, Goulet took their guns and jumped into Baker's car. But the neighborhood was boxed in by hundreds of quickly responding law enforcement officers, so he ditched the car and tried to run.
Wowak said Goulet was trying to dash back to the car when he started shooting at a team of police and deputies. Goulet was killed in the shootout.
A fire truck was hit by several bullets, and at least one firefighter pushed a bystander to the ground to prevent her from being struck.
"(Goulet) was distraught. He had intentions of potentially harming people and or the police," the sheriff said. "No doubt the officers that engaged Goulet stopped an imminent threat to the community."
Wowak said investigators were still trying to determine everything that happened when Baker and Butler first made contact with Goulet.
His latest arrest, for being drunk in public, came Friday in Santa Cruz. That same evening, a colleague at the coffee shop where he was working filed a complaint with police for inappropriate sexual advances. He was fired the next day, and the detectives had been following up on that investigation.
Goulet's father said his son texted his twin brother on Tuesday, saying "'I'm in big trouble, I love you,'" the father recalled.
"Jeff texted back and Jeremy wouldn't answer and next thing we know he was shot and killed," he said.
Jeremy Goulet earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice in 2000. But his admiration for the law turned to hatred amid his constant urges to peep on unsuspecting women, his father said.
"He's got one problem, peeping in windows," said his father. "I asked him, 'Why don't you just go to a strip club?' He said he wants a good girl that doesn't know she's being spied on, and said he couldn't stop doing it."
During college Jeremy Goulet served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. His father said Jeremy was arrested for peeping at the time and charged with a misdemeanor.
After graduating from San Diego State University in 2000, he eventually landed in the U.S. Army, where he trained as a helicopter pilot. He was moving forward in his career when he again stumbled into legal troubles in the Army and was discharged, his father said.
Goulet moved to Portland to be with his twin brother, Jeffery. The two had a strained relationship and fought often, but the bonds of family kept them together, his father said.
Jeremy Goulet's troubles followed him to Oregon. In May 2008, he went to trial on charges of peeping on a young woman as she took a shower in her condo and for trying to kill her boyfriend. The woman said that after showering she noticed the window screen was gone and a stick had been used to prop open the blinds.
Goulet was acquitted of trying to kill the boyfriend but convicted of carrying a gun without a concealed weapon permit and invasion of personal privacy. After violating his probation, Goulet was sentenced to two years in jail. He moved to Santa Cruz for a fresh start after jail.