California News

Mar 7, 2013 6:32 PM by Associated Press

Slain Santa Cruz officers honored in memorial

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel says two detectives shot and killed during a routine investigation were "Two heroes, two friends, taken from us far too soon at the hands of a madman."

Colleagues on Thursday honored 51-year-old Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker and 38-year-old Officer Elizabeth Butler during a memorial held just over a week after they were killed as they investigated a former soldier with a criminal past.

Butler was described as an adventurer, a traveler who spent weekends enjoying Santa Cruz's parks and beaches with her partner and two young boys.

Baker was a sports fan who persuaded his only son to follow him into police service, and was starting to talk about retiring.

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Baker and Butler were "a perfect fit for Santa Cruz," a place he described as "sometimes a little offbeat," but "always a place where people enjoy life for what it is."

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



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