In the weeks since two Santa Cruz police detectives were gunned down last month, a memorial fund for their family members has been growing and currently stands at more than $300,000, a city employee said Friday.
On Feb. 26, Santa Cruz police Detective Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butler were shot and killed in the 800 block of North Branciforte Avenue after following up on a report of a misdemeanor sexual assault.
The shooter, Jeremy Goulet, 35, was later killed in a shootout with authorities.
The on-duty killings were the first in the department's history. Since the deaths, the community has shown an outpouring of support, raising $308,000 as of Wednesday evening, assistant to the city manager Scott Collins said.
Donations coming in for the Butch Baker & Elizabeth Butler Scholarship Fund are from individuals, community groups, organizations, businesses and elected officials, Collins said. The average individual donation has been $100.
"That's a big deal," Collins said. "It's touched everybody."
A group of local businesses and city officials pledged a $125,000 donation, which included money from Santa Cruz Mayor Hilary Bryant and her husband. Money raised through the fund will be split between the two officers' families.
Butler had two young children, ages 5 and 2.
Baker had three children, including a son who works at the Santa Cruz Police Department.
"It's such a major loss," Collins said, "These funds will be extremely helpful."
Pizza restaurant chain California Pizza Kitchen has designated the first four days of April as a memorial fundraiser at 17 of its Northern California locations. Between April 1 and 4, 20 percent of bills all day at the 17 locations will go toward the fallen officers' fund. Participating locations include those in Walnut Creek, San Jose, San Mateo, Monterey, and Palo Alto. More information about the fundraiser and a flier to bring in is available at cpk.com/fundraiser.
Tax-deductible donations to the memorial fund can be made at www.cityofsantacruz.com, where a donate link is on the main page and will be for the coming weeks, according to Collins.