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Everett officer's bodycam footage shows moments before deadly encounter

Court documents indicate that bodycam footage and witness video captures Richard Rotter shooting Officer Dan Rocha in the head three times.

EVERETT, Wash. — The Everett Police Department released over eight minutes of footage from fallen Officer Dan Rocha's bodycam, which captured the moments leading up to the deadly shooting in March.

Court documents indicate that bodycam footage and witness video captures Richard Rotter, 50, shooting Rocha, 41, in three times and then running the officer's body over with a vehicle before fleeing the scene.

The department said they withheld five hours, 45 minutes and 29 seconds of Rocha's body cam because "disclosure would violate the privacy rights of Officer Rocha’s surviving family members."

The incident began on March 25 when Rocha spoke with Rotter after seeing him “'moving guns from one car to another” in the parking lot of a Starbucks in Everett, according to probable cause documents.

Police said a dispatcher told Rocha that Rotter had outstanding warrants for his arrest, including domestic violence assault and hit-and-run. Recorded radio chatter indicated the suspect had a previous felony conviction.

Witness cellphone video captured Rocha trying to detain Rotter near the back of his Mini Cooper. Rotter began to “wrestle” with Rocha and they fell behind the car. Rotter took out a handgun and fired “at least twice” at Rocha, according to documents.

Police said another cellphone video showed the Mini Cooper accelerating backward over Rocha’s body and leaving the parking lot.

Rocha served with the Everett Police Department since 2017 and lived in the community for more than a decade. 

Rocha was remembered by family, friends and the community at a memorial service on April 4. 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.

Rotter pleaded not guilty to the shooting on April 25. 

A judge ruled that Rotter be held without bail after the Snohomish County prosecutor’s office argued he is a danger to the community.

Rotter has 13 felony convictions dating back to 1985 for crimes such as burglary, assault and drug possession. Additionally, Rotter has 43 misdemeanor convictions.




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