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Memorial For Slain Santa Cruz Officers Moved To HP Pavilion

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Santa Cruz police Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker (left) and detective Elizabeth Butler were shot and killed during an altercation with a suspect on February 26, 2013. (Santa Cruz Police Department)

Santa Cruz police Sgt. Loran “Butch” Baker (left) and Detective Elizabeth Butler. (Santa Cruz Police Department)

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SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF) — The location for Thursday’s memorial for two slain Santa Cruz police officers has been moved to the HP Pavilion in San Jose to fit the large number of people expected to attend, a police spokesman said.

The Santa Cruz Police Department realized that interest from public to honor the fallen officers, killed in the line of duty Tuesday, would have meant splitting the memorial into four venues in Santa Cruz, Deputy Chief Steve Clark said.

People from throughout the country plan to be at the service for Detective Sgt. Loran “Butch” Baker and Officer Elizabeth Butler, Clark said.

“We felt it wouldn’t capture the essence of a real memorial service” to have it in multiple places, Clark said.

“We felt that we had to have that real experience together,” Clark said. “We didn’t want anyone to feel that they could not come because of venue restrictions.”

Representatives of the HP Pavilion “have been absolutely gracious to us” and will help prepare the arena to make it available for the service, Clark said.

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Baker, 51, and Butler, 38, were allegedly shot to death by a criminal suspect, Jeremy Goulet, 35, while trying to interview him about a misdemeanor sexual assault in Santa Cruz. Goulet was later gunned down in a shootout with police.

The HP Pavilion, where the San Jose Sharks professional hockey team plays, seats 17,500 people for hockey and has a maximum seating capacity of 20,000, according to the Sharks website.

The ceremony is set to take place at noon at the pavilion, 525 W. Santa Clara St. in San Jose.

A motorcade procession, with vehicles from Santa Cruz police, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department, Santa Cruz firefighters and emergency responders, will precede the memorial, Clark said.

The line of vehicles, to stretch about two miles, with make its way from Santa Cruz to San Jose on state Highway 17 that morning, Clark said.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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