Who was Dan Rocha? Washington cop shot, run over by gunman in Starbucks parking lot
EVERETT, WASHINGTON: Police officer Dan Rocha was killed in the line of duty on March 25, 2022, by a violent suspect who shot him, then ran over him with a car. The suspect was later apprehended by Everett Police after causing a three-car crash two miles away while trying to flee. The department and community are now mourning the veteran cop, who spent his entire career in Everett.
Rocha becomes the latest in a long line of cops to die while on duty, as officer deaths keep increasing amidst America's crime wave. On January 11, off-duty LAPD cop Fernando Arroyos was shot during a mugging while house hunting and killed. Then in late January, Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora were killed by gunman Lashawn McNeil in New York City. In March, Pennsylvania Troopers Martin Mack and Branden Sisca were killed after a drunk motorist slammed into their car, while they were assisting a pedestrian.
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Overall, 34 officers have so far died in the line of duty in 2022 (not related to Covid-19), according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. That's already a significant fraction of the 174 officers who lost their lives in 2021, which was a massive drop from the 241 officers who were killed in 2020.
Who was Dan Rocha?
The 41-year-old officer was a veteran of Everett PD, where he served for more than a decade. Rocha joined the department in 2017, first working as a parking enforcement officer before being quickly promoted to a fully commissioned police officer the next year. "He served the City of Everett as a patrol officer in North Everett for most of his career and was well respected by both the community and his fellow officers," the department mourned in a statement.
Beyond that, not much is known about officer Rocha. He is survived by a wife and two sons, the department added. He doesn't appear to have social media accounts, so we couldn't learn more about him. The officer was brutally shot and killed by a man outside a Starbucks in the city. Police say Rocha approached a man who was "acting suspiciously" in the Starbucks parking lot, leading to an altercation.
The suspect then shot the officer multiple times and fled in a car running over Rocha in the process. The gunfire and eyewitnesses then saw other police officers chasing the suspect, who ended up crashing the car two miles away. According to eyewitnesses, at least 30 police cars gave chase, which ended with the crash. The suspect was taken into custody and then transferred to the hospital for treatment. No other injuries were reported.
So far, we don't have a name for the suspect, or why exactly he shot Rocha. The story is developing and we will update as more information becomes available.