Jeremy Goulet had been arrested multiple times for sex-related crimes, including an arrest for rape in Hawaii. He also served time for misdemeanors in Oregon.
But according to our media partner, the San Jose Mercury News, Goulet was still able to legally buy a gun.
Federal law prohibits anyone from owning a gun who has been imprisoned for more than a year. Goulet served two one year sentences consecutively.
His name also did not appear in two criminal databases because he was charged only with misdemeanors.
Loran "Butch" Baker and Elizabeth Butler were gunned down Tuesday while they were interviewing Goulet as part of a sexual assault investigation. He then stole their car, guns and body armor.
Goulet was killed a short time later in a police shootout.
Thousands are expected to attend a public memorial service honoring Baker and Butler. The ceremony will be held at HP Pavillion in San Jose beginning at 12 p.m. ABC7 News will carry the memorial on air and online.
A Butch Baker and Elizabeth Butler Scholarship Fund has been established. Donations can be made through the Santa Cruz city website.