Slain Santa Cruz Officers' Families Thank Community - NBC Bay Area

Slain Santa Cruz Officers' Families Thank Community



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    Detective Elizabeth Butler, left, and Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker were slain in a shootout in Santa Cruz on Feb. 26, 2013. The alleged gunman was later killed by responding officers.

    The families of two members of Santa Cruz Police Department killed  in the line of duty in February released letters to the community Monday,  expressing gratitude and appreciation for the support from complete strangers  to well-known politicians.

    Santa Cruz police Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker and Detective Elizabeth  Butler were shot and killed the afternoon of Feb. 26 while following up on a  report of misdemeanor sexual assault.

    The gunman, 35-year-old Jeremy Goulet, was later killed in a gun  battle with authorities.

    More than a month since their deaths and a large memorial service  held at HP Pavilion in San Jose on March 7, the Police Department Monday  shared letters from the slain officers' families.

    Butler's partner Peter Wu, her mother, Louise Butler, and her  sister, Alexis Butler, wrote about the sadness of losing Elizabeth Butler.

    "We miss her terribly," the family wrote.

    However, they said despite the unbearable loss, the community has  stepped up.

    "Yet almost every day of the past month has also included moments  of awe and amazement at the love and honor paid to Elizabeth's memory," the  family wrote.

    The family thanked Butler's two young sons, Stellan, 2, and  Joaquin, 5, for reminding the family to stay healthy during the past month of  mourning and into the future.

    The family also thanked other relatives, members of the Police  Department including Chief Kevin Vogel, and the "hundreds of people who have  sent us cards, scholarship funds, and gifts."

    "We have glimpsed in the outpouring of support from the people of  Santa Cruz and surrounding cities that goodness will prevail and small acts  of love will redeem our aching hearts," the letter read.

    The family reflected on the massive memorial that started with a  procession through Santa Cruz before heading along state Highway 17 to the  ceremony in San Jose.

    "As we traveled through the streets of Santa Cruz, the sight of  hundreds of citizens with their hands over their hearts touched us deeply,"  the letter stated.

    Speakers at the memorial service included former U.S. Defense  Secretary Leon Panetta, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Vogel and  Santa Cruz Mayor Hilary Bryant.