Retired East Bay officer charged with attempted murder of estranged wife

MARTINEZ, Calif. (KTVU) - A retired East Bay police officer is behind bars after investigators say he committed a drive-by shooting. His alleged intended target was his estranged wife.

The Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez has an inmate right now who is likely more uncomfortable than most. His past career makes him a target.

"A retired Hercules police officer," says Antioch Police Captain Tammany Brooks.

Forty-seven-year-old John Goodner is charged with attempted murder. Police say his estranged wife was the target. "Which is why the District Attorney felt strongly in actually filing the attempted murder charge for what he did," explained Brooks.

Early on January 28, investigators say Goodner drove to his wife's house and opened fire. "I don't know if he shot from his vehicle or got out of his car and then shot into the house."

She was asleep in the front bedroom. On the wall outside, there are now several bullet holes. When looking at the location of the bullet holes, it's easy to see how close she came to being seriously hurt if not killed.

Goodner is also charged with stalking his wife, making terrorist threats and shooting into an occupied dwelling.

Sources tell KTVU a week earlier he had threatened to kill her. So, she got a restraining order.

Gloria Sandoval says restraining orders often trigger increased violence. She runs the East Bay group, Stand! for Families Free of Violence and says one in four families is affected by domestic violence.

But among law enforcement families, she says it's as much as 40 percent more common. Perhaps even higher because of unreported cases.

"Because many police officers' wives won't come forward because it's so dangerous and because they're so afraid," said Sandoval.

Captain Brooks says police agencies try to get help for officers who are in distress. "I can't speak for Mr. Goodner, it could be signs of possible mental illness. Or some police officers based on what they see during the course of their career might suffer from PTSD."

Goodner was a Hercules Police officer for 15 years before taking a medical retirement in 2009.

He worked patrol and as a K9 officer. But that didn't help him as he was arrested.

"Mr. Goodner was uncooperative during the officer's investigation and actually had to be apprehended by a K9 before being taken into custody," said Brooks.

Goodner is being held on almost $1.8 million bail.