Santa Cruz thanks those who helped during shooting

June 25, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Tuesday was an emotional night to honor those who helped the city of Santa Cruz get through what many call the city's darkest day. It was the day two police officers, Sgt. Loran 'Butch' Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butler, were murdered while on duty. On Tuesday the city took the chance to say thank you.

"The pain of the tragedy has been eased by the outpouring that we have seen in support of the police department and the city," said Santa Cruz Mayor Hilary Bryant.

The city of Santa Cruz is still in mourning, four months after the murders of Sgt. Loren "Butch" Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butler. The officers were gunned down while investigating a sexual assault.

"It has been horrific. I don't have words to describe how awful this event has been for us," said Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel.

It's a daily struggle to move on without these veteran officers. About 80 organizations, businesses and people have helped ease the pain. On Tuesday the city showed its gratitude.

Few words can describe what so many have done these past 17 weeks. From tending to the enormous memorial outside the police department after the shootings to allowing law enforcement to take over a family restaurant and use it as a command center the day of the murders. Joe's Pizza and Subs shut down to customers but still fed officers and catered to their needs.

"A situation like this does not require someone to tell us to open the doors. So we opened it to the community," said Jim Hammana from Joe's Pizza and Subs.

For that decision, the city said thank you.

Many of the people honored were recognized because of their financial donations to the Baker and Butler Scholarship Fund. That fund has raised nearly half a million dollars for the officers' families.


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