LIBERTY, Mo. — The man accused of killing a North Kansas City police officer appeared in a Clay County Courtroom to be officially charged with the crimes.
Rocha appeared in person during the hearing where a judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. The court will also appoint a public defender to represent Rocha.
He is held on $2 million bond. The judge scheduled a bond hearing for next week.
While audio and video recordings were not allowed inside the courtroom, FOX4’s Tia Johnson attended the hearing. She reported the courtroom was packed with officers as well as Vasquez’s friends and family.
“This is ridiculous” KCPD Deputy Chief Mike Wood said. “It’s got to stop.”
For the first time, several family and friends of Daniel Vasquez saw the man accused of killing him during a traffic stop.
Rocha was escorted into a Clay County courtroom restrained by fallen officer Vasquez’s handcuffs.
“I don’t care if it takes a month or 10 years,” Wood said. “It doesn’t matter. He’s where he needs to be in my opinion. The system will work.”
According to the probable cause statement, Vazquez stopped Rocha for an expired tag on his car Tuesday morning.
The documents shows Rocha later admitted to shooting Vasquez five times with a rifle. He told officers he shot the officer because he didn’t want to go to jail or have his car towed.
Officers served the warrant at the home where Rocha lived with his mother.
FOX4 is learning more details about what happened after the shooting.
Investigators sought to seize a 3D printer, computer, software used with the 3D printer, and a 3D-printed gun, according to the warrant.
According to the warrant, officers spoke to Rocha’s mom who said her son admitted to her he made a fully automatic AR and other guns with the 3D printer he owned.
Rocha’s mother also told officers he came home around 11 a.m. Tuesday morning and changed clothes. The court document shows she told officers that Rocha told her he’d messed up and admitted shooting a police officer. He also told her that he was concerned about going to jail.
The warrant may indicate that Rocha may have shot Vasquez with a gun he made. Officers said they found the gun used to kill Vasquez in the front seat of Rocha’s car, but did not say if it was one Rocha made.
The Clay County prosecutor hasn’t said if he will seek the death penalty in the case.
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