SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) — There was no warning for the two police detectives killed on Jeremy Goulet's doorstep when he flung open his door and opened fire. But there was more than a decade of signs that indicated Goulet was, as his father said Wednesday, a "ticking time bomb."
The quiet beach town of Santa Cruz was reeling as teary-eyed law enforcement leaders struggled to explain how Goulet, 35, had managed to kill two 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 sexual assault, Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak said.
The killings kicked off an intense half-hour chase by police that ended in a barrage of gunfire as Goulet, pinned against a garage door and a wall, tried to take even more lives.
"It's been devastating," Police Chief Kevin Vogel said Wednesday, ordering his remaining force of 92 sworn officers to step down for the day, allowing sheriffs and the highway patrol to take over the city's protection.
For those who knew Goulet, Tuesday marked the end of an escalating path of failed careers, violent relationships and criminal arrests of a disturbed former soldier consumed with irrational fury and sexual deviances.
"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.
Goulet's father said his son texted his twin brother 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.
Wowak said that after shooting the detectives, Goulet stole their guns and jumped into Baker's car. But the neighborhood was boxed in by hundreds of quickly responding law enforcement officers, so, well-armed, he ditched the car and headed back toward his house, where emergency crews were desperately trying to save the two detectives.
A team of law enforcement officers spotted him and ordered him to give up. Instead he ran, and when cornered, opened fire. Goulet was killed in the shootout. On Wednesday, Goulet's blood remained splattered on a wall on a quiet residential street.
A fire truck was hit by several bullets, and firefighters took cover behind their vehicle, pulling bystanders down with them for safety.
"(Goulet) was distraught," the sheriff said. "No doubt the officers that engaged Goulet stopped an imminent threat to the community."
Goulet, who had served two years in prison in Oregon, was most recently in Santa Cruz County jail Friday on charges of public intoxication. Earlier that evening, a colleague at the coffee shop where he was working filed a complaint with police about inappropriate sexual advances. He was fired the next day, and the detectives had been following up.
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 stare at 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?'"
During college, Jeremy Goulet served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. His father said Jeremy was arrested then for peeping, a misdemeanor.
After graduating from San Diego State University in 2000, he 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.
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