EVERETT, Wash. - Police say they found guns and drugs, including more than 2,000 fentanyl pills, when searching the car of the man accused of gunning down an Everett Police officer in March.
The suspect, Richard Rotter, was charged April 15 in Snohomish County Superior Court with aggravated first-degree murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or deliver.
The 50-year-old suspect has a lengthy criminal history, including at least 18 felonies and hundreds of contacts with Kennewick Police over the years.
According to charging documents, Officer Rocha was waiting for a coffee at a Starbucks on Broadway Ave. when he noticed the suspect transferring guns from a Mini Cooper to a Ford Fusion.
Rocha activated his body-worn camera and went into the parking lot to speak with the man. The officer ran the suspect's name and found that the suspect was a convicted felon and had a warrant out for his arrest.
According to police, Rocha attempted to take the suspect into custody, but he shot Rocha five times. After the shooting, the suspect is accused of running Rocha over with his car and speeding away. Police were able to arrest the suspect after he crashed at a different location.
Rocha died at the scene. His gun and Taser were both still in their holsters after he had been killed.
Detectives found the suspect's gun still next to Rocha's body, a Glock 19 with an after-market barrel. DNA evidence was collected.
Police say the entire incident was captured on Rocha's body camera.
A man inside the Starbucks witnessed the incident and captured it on cell phone video. Someone is heard in the video saying "Dude, he just killed that cop!"
According to detectives, people who knew Rotter said he had told them he would not go back to prison and that "they're not going to take me alive."
Rotter is not allowed to possess a firearm due to multiple previous felony convictions.
Investigators said a search of Rotter's car found 2,000 fentanyl pills, along with heroin and meth.
Rotter has a lengthy criminal history with at least 18 prior felonies and 43 misdemeanors and has prior convictions for possession with intent and delivery of controlled substance.
The state is requesting Rotter be held without bail, arguing that he shows a propensity for violence that creates a substantial likelihood of danger to the community or any person. Previously, bail was set at $5 million.
Arraignment is scheduled for April 19.
Officer Rocha leaves behind a wife, two sons and a large extended family. He is the second law enforcement officer to be killed in the line of duty this month in Western Washington.