EVERETT, Wash. — Fallen Everett Police Officer Dan Rocha was remembered by family, friends and the community at a memorial service on Monday.
Rocha, 41, was shot and killed by a suspect on March 25.
The memorial honoring Rocha's life and service was held at the Angel of the Winds Arena. The service followed a procession through the city of Everett.
The mourning procession included hundreds of law enforcement personnel and community members, many of whom lined the streets along the route to pay their respects and show support for Rocha's family.
One resident who gathered near the beginning of the procession who works in the area said she is hoping the incident inspires change in the Everett community, saying she hopes it brings about more vigilance in the city among her fellow residents.
Another resident was moved while watching the procession, saying, "These officers and our fallen officers, these people are out there every day for us. I love them so much. I live here in Everett. They’re here any time we call, right away. I just feel sorry for them, these people, that protect us.”
Officer Kerby Duncan, the public information officer for the Everett Police Department, talked about Rocha ahead of the memorial, saying, "Dan was the guy you want to come to your call. He knew what he was doing. He took care of business, and he just shared himself. And it made you more sure to be there with him."
During the memorial, Everett Chief of Police Dan Templeman and Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin spoke, along with members of Rocha's family. Following this, taps was performed by buglers and a flag presentation took place.
During his remarks, Templeman shared how highly regarded Rocha was among his fellow officers and his history, saying, "There is nothing that can prepare a family, a department or a community for a loss as devastating as this. Today is about Dan. It's about celebrating and honoring his life and recognizing the ultimate sacrifice he made for his community."
Rocha's father, Michael Henry, also spoke, sharing the grief he felt as a parent.
"My first reaction when I heard about Dan was that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Upon further reflection, I knew that Dan would say he was in the perfect place at the perfect place to do what he does: serve and protect and make a better world for his kids," Henry said.
Rocha served with the department since 2017 and lived in the community for more than a decade. He is the fourth Everett officer to die in the line of duty ever.
Rocha is survived by his wife and two sons. A memorial fund has been established for Rocha's family. Click here for more information or learn other ways to donate.
Fifty-year-old Richard James Rotter, the man accused of shooting and killing Rocha, was arrested and is being held on $5 million bail. On March 28, a Snohomish County judge found probable cause for murder in the first degree and unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree.