Richard James Rotter: Suspect in Everett Officer Shooting

richard james rotter

Mugshots Richard James Rotter

Richard James Rotter was identified as the suspect accused in the shooting death of Everett, Washington, police officer Dan Rocha.

Rotter was named in Snohomish County Jail records, where he is being held on a slew of charges, including murder of a police officer.

He is a career criminal from Washington State who has led police on dangerous chases in the past.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Rotter Is Accused of Shooting & Running Over the Everett Police Officer

Snohomish County JailRotter booking record

According to Fox 13, police say that Officer Rocha, who was 41, approached Rotter in the parking lot of a Starbucks due to “suspicious behavior.” Police have not formally released Rotter’s name, however.

Rotter began fighting with the officer and then shot at him multiple times, the television station reported.

He is then accused of running the officer over with his car and taking off. He crashed at another location and is under arrest.

Officer Rocha died of his injuries. Daily Mail reported that he was shot in the head.

2. Rotter Has an Extensive Criminal History Involving Drugs, Domestic Violence & Other Offenses

Rotter has an extensive criminal history dating back to 2004, according to Lynwood Times.

That publication listed the following offenses for Rotter:

Driving with suspended license 3rd Degree, 2004, Yakima
False statement to public servant, 2004, Benton
Marijuana possession, 2007, Ritzville
Malicious Mischief-3, 2008, Benton
Violation of court order, 2009, Benton
Domestic Violence Assault, 2009, Benton
Bail Jumping, 2009, Benton
Reckless Driving, 2009, Benton
False Reporting 2nd Degree, 2010, Benton
Resisting Arrest, 2010, Benton
DUI, 2010, Benton
Obstructing Public Servant, 2010, Benton
Driving with suspended license 3rd Degree, 2010, Benton
Reckless Driving, 2010, Benton
Possession of Control Substance, 2010, Benton
Possession of Control Substance, 2012, Franklin
Driving with suspended license 1st Degree, 2012, Benton
Possession of Control Substance, 2012, Benton
Bail Jumping, 2013, Benton
Attempt to Elude Police Vehicle, 2013, Franklin
Hit and Run Attended Vehicle, 2019, Benton
Driving with suspended license 1st Degree, 2019, Benton

According to Fox 13, Rotter has “at least 18 felonies and hundreds of contacts with Kennewick Police.”

In 2019, Tri-Cities Crimestoppers wrote on Facebook:

Richard Rotter was apprehended by a Franklin County Deputy on Sunday, but not after attempting to elude the Deputy. So he has even more charges to face.

Washington State DOC and the US Marshal Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force are looking for 47 year old Richard J Rotter. Rotter has a warrant for Escape from Community Custody on original charges of Possession of Controlled Substance. He added to his problems by hitting a vehicle driven by a Task Force Member Wednesday afternoon in Richland WA as they closed in on him attempting to arrest him. Rotter fled the accident and remains at large.

3. Rotter Once Led Police on a ‘Wild, Dangerous Chase’

richard rotter

FacebookRichard Rotter

A 2016 news article from KFLD reported that Rotter, then 44, was “still being sought by Kennewick police after he led them on a wild, dangerous chase.”

The story accuses Rotter of leading “officers on a dangerous chase southbound on Washington street, without using his headlights.”

According to KFLD, in that incident, Rotter was sleeping inside a 1999 silver Chevy Tahoe while wanted on outstanding felony warrants. When officers began approaching his vehicle, he took off and later abandoned the vehicle in a parking lot, the radio station reported.

4. Officer Rocha, Who Left Behind a Wife & Two Sons, Was Remembered as a Hero

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman called Rocha a hero in a statement posted to the department’s Facebook page.

“Yesterday our community lost a hero. Everett Police Officer Dan Rocha #1470 was fatally shot while doing his job – protecting and serving the community he loved,” he wrote.

Officer Rocha was honored to wear the badge and proud to be a police officer in Everett. He was well-liked, highly respected by his co-workers and truly loved serving our residents. There are no words to make sense of this tragedy or to ease the pain for Officer Rocha’s grieving family. Officer Rocha was a loving husband and father and a role model for his two sons. They should be very proud of their dad, as he gave the ultimate sacrifice protecting our community. I ask that you keep Officer Rocha’s family and the men and women of the Everett Police Department in your thoughts and prayers as we all process this horrible tragedy. Officer Rocha will be missed, but not forgotten.

Templeman said in a news conference that an Everett police officer last died in the line of duty in 1999. “He was a great man, a great father, a great husband. His crew members loved working with him. He loved this job,” he said of Rocha.

Rocha started as a parking enforcement officer and worked hard to become an Everett police officer, the chief said.

5. Rotter Is From the Washington State Area

Richard James Rotter

FacebookRichard James Rotter

A Facebook page

in the name of Richard James Rotter says that he had worked for an electrician company, studied at Spokane Falls Community College, went to Kennewick High School, and was from Pasco, Washington.

It also says he was married in 2021. On March 1, 2022, he shared photos of trucks and wrote, “Part of my New Year’s resolution was 2 acquire these two nice a** rides!!”

On Facebook, he liked pages devoted to addiction recovery but also CrimeStoppers and a Blue Lives Matter page.

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