SANTA CRUZ — The man shot to death by Santa Cruz police after killing two detectives fought losing battles to control his rage and a Peeping Tom obsession, destructive urges that led to his failure in the military and set him on a path toward the deadly final conflict, his father says.
After more than a decade of warning signs that Jeremy Goulet was the "ticking time bomb" his father described, Goulet flung open his door and fatally shot two detectives sent there to investigate a sexual assault complaint against him.
The quiet beach town was still reeling Wednesday as teary-eyed law enforcement leaders struggled to explain how Goulet, 35, had managed to kill Sgt. Loran Butch Baker and Elizabeth Butler the previous day.
Wednesday night, hundreds of grieving community members gathered for a vigil near the police department, with photos of Baker and Butler sitting on a table surrounded by flowers and candles. Some people wore blue-and-black armbands in solidarity with the police.
Those who knew or were associated with Goulet said a hatred for the justice system had swelled in him since he graduated in 2000 with a degree in criminal justice from San Diego State University. This feeling was fueled by years of run-ins with police and prosecutors after accusations during his military tenure of sex-related crimes, his father, Ronald Goulet, 64, told The Associated Press.
"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 said in halting, emotional bursts during an interview Wednesday. "But I didn't think by any means he would do anything like this."
The killings prompted police Chief Kevin Vogel to order his force of 92 officers to step down for the day, allowing sheriffs and the highway patrol to take over the city's protection. "It's been devastating," Vogel said Wednesday.
After shooting the two detectives, Goulet stole their guns and jumped into Baker's car, said Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak. But he was boxed in the neighborhood by responding officers so he left the car and headed back toward his house.
A team of law enforcement officers spotted him and ordered him to give up. Instead, he ran. When cornered, he opened fire and was killed in the shootout.
Goulet and his twin brother, Jeffery Goulet, grew up near Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California, where Ronald Goulet was stationed during his 26 years in the military. He said that after his divorce from the boys' mother, the twins both dealt with anger management issues.
"The brothers used to argue and get in bad fist fights with each other," the father said. "Both of them had anger management issues, but (Jeremy's) brother matured and he didn't."
During college, Jeremy Goulet served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. His father said Jeremy was arrested then for peeping, a misdemeanor.
"He's got one problem: peeping in windows," said his father. "I asked him, 'Why don't you just go to a strip club?'"
After graduating from college, 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.