Santa Cruz shooter had complicated past


None of the workers at the Kind Grind in Santa Cruz would talk about their co-worker who on Tuesday, two Santa Cruz police detectives before officers shot and killed him.

Some of the customers Goulet served remember him.

"Just asked what it was I wanted, gave it to me and that was it," David Jones said. "No conversation. No intimation to what his personality might be or anything. He had no personality."

But investigators now say Goulet had been vocal in the days before the shootout about problems in his life.

"We know now that he was distraught, we know now that he had intentions of potentially harming people and/or the police," Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak said.

Santa Cruz police arrest logs show Goulet was picked up this past Friday for disorderly conduct, involving alcohol. Wowak says detectives were investigating a misdemeanor sexual assault when they went to question Goulet. His father wouldn't allow ABC7 News to record the phone conversation, but he said police wanted to talk to Goulet about breaking into a co-worker's apartment and making inappropriate advances.

Goulet was at the center of a very public incident in Portland in 2008.

Danny Thomas caught Goulet looking through a window at his girlfriend who was taking a shower -- he ran away. Over the following weeks, Thomas would argue with Goulet when he saw him in the neighborhood. And then, it got physical.

"He went for his pocket and there was something in his pocket, I didn't want to know what it was so I just grabbed him," Thomas said.

Goulet had a gun -- several shots went off as Thomas struggled with him, and a crowd formed. It dragged on for more than 10 minutes before police arrived.

"I was begging people for help and looking them straight in the eye and they just smiled and said someone's helping, someone's going to come or I'm not getting involved or things like that and I just thought I was going to die," Thomas said.

Thomas wound up pummeling Goulet, even biting off part of his left ear.

Goulet's felony attempted murder charge got pled down to misdemeanor handgun possession and invasion of privacy.

Prosecutors said he had another peeping conviction in California in 2000, and in court, Goulet admitted spying on women more than 100 times, often taking cellphone video of them. After a disagreement with his probation officer, Goulet chose to spend two years in jail rather than attend sex offender classes.

All that happened after what appears to have been some good years of service in the military. Records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show Goulet spent six years in the Marine Corps reserve, including a stint as military police and then almost four years in the Army in Alabama, Honduras and Hawaii. He flew Blackhawk helicopters and received several awards -- including the national defense service medal, global war on terrorism service medal, and sharpshooter marksman badge.

Until 2008, he was certified by the FAA to fly commercial helicopters. He appeared to have so many options for his future. Just two weeks ago, Goulet wrote on his Facebook page that he bought a ticket for this summer's Burning Man -- he said about the event, "going home."

Copyright © 2024 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.