Jeremy Peter Goulet, 35, the suspect in the slaying of two Santa Cruz police officers Tuesday afternoon, moved to Santa Cruz in early fall of last year after falling out with his boss at a coffee shop in Berkeley, according to his former landlord.
Richard Perry, 58, first met Goulet when he responded to a Craigslist ad Goulet posted seeking a place to locate the small camper he planned to live out of. Perry rented Goulet the vacant lot next to his home in Oakland near the Berkeley border, a mile from Rockridge Park, for $300 a month for five months in 2012, starting in the spring of last year.
"He said he had a camper that he was moving down from Oregon and wanted a place for a few months," said Perry, a computer engineer who works as a consultant. "He came over with his brother Jeff, and they were pretty normal people."
Goulet's twin brother Jefferey lived nearby, Perry said.
"He said he had friends working at Trader Joe's, quite a few, so he figured he could find employment," Perry said. "I didn't bother with any kind of background check."
Perry regularly rents out rooms in his house to students. He found Goulet to be a quiet and calm tenant. They occasionally discussed Burning Man, which both had attended.
"After the first couple of months, I hardly saw him at all," Perry said.
Goulet quickly got a job at Cole Coffee in Berkeley and paid his rent every month in cash. He would later work at Santa Cruz's Kind Grind coffeeshop.
"I never saw him bring any friends back to his camper at my site," Perry said. "My housemates said occasionally they saw him walking up the street, but definitely never with anybody."
Goulet told Perry he spent a lot of time at his brother's apartment.
In the late summer of 2012, Goulet contacted Perry.
"One day he just texted me and said 'I got to be leaving...I had a run-in with my boss,'" Perry said. "I didn't want to hear the story."
Santa Cruz police were investigating a sex crime charge when Goulet allegedly opened fire on them on Tuesday, according to Sheriff Phil Wowak. He had multiple previous arrests for sex crimes, Wowak said.
"It's kind of a scary thought," Perry said. "He just seemed like a normal person."