Blue Alert: Phoenix police launch manhunt for man who gunned down cop, PD asks media to have some respect

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PHOENIX, AZ – The Arizona Department of Public Safety issued a Blue Alert late Thursday afternoon for 35-year-old Nicholas Cody Cowen.

He is 6’0″ tall, has hazel eyes, brown hair, numerous tattoos on his arms, neck, chest and back. He was last seen a black t-shirt and hat and black shorts. He was also driving a light blue 2012 Toyota Prius.

That vehicle has been recovered.

Cowan is still on the run. Police advise that he is armed and dangerous. They have asked the public not to approach him if spotted.

He is wanted for the attempted murder of a Phoenix police officer.

It all started around 10:30 Thursday morning when police responded to a domestic violence call at a gas station. A woman met the officers there. She left her home to speak with them out of fear that their presence at her residence might lead to a confrontation, as reported by AZ Central.

While speaking with the woman, a man believed to have been in a romantic relationship with the woman pulled into the parking lot and opening fire from his vehicle.

One officer was struck. Another returned fire as the man drove away.

Witnesses told Fox 10 that they saw an officer jump on another to provide cover.

The officer, identified by the department as a 24-year veteran of the PPD, was rushed to a nearby hospital. She was taken into surgery for her injuries and was in stable condition. Her husband is also a Phoenix police officer.

“They took an ambulance out, down the street that way, with about four or five police cars following the ambulance,” said Gene Onstein.

Standing outside HonorHealth Deer Valley Medical Center, Chief of Police Jeri Williams addressed the media.

“Here I am once again standing before you, delivering this type of news outside of a hospital. I’m angry, I’m tired and I’m frustrated. 

I can tell you this about the officer. She’s a wife, she’s a mom, she’s a dedicated public servant. We are very hopeful and prayerful that she will pull through just fine. So, please keep all of our officers in your thoughts and prayers, as well as the dispatchers who take those dangerous calls for service.”

The president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, Michael Landon, issued a statement.

“The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association is saddened by the shooting of a Phoenix Police Officer today. The officer is an incredible asset to the department and one of our best public safety leaders who is committed to serving and protecting our community.

The men and women of the Phoenix Police Department are selfless and brave community servants who go above and beyond each day, risking their lives to keep our neighborhoods safe. We thank each of them for continued service during these challenging times.

This is a difficult day for our brothers and sisters in law enforcement, and we will continue to keep the officer and their family in our thoughts and prayers.”

Cowan has a lengthy criminal record. It was uncovered and reported by Fox 10 Phoenix.  According to the local affiliate:

“Cowan served prison time from 2006 to 2010, having been convicted of multiple charges that include aggravated DUI, aggravated assault, and misconduct related to weapons.

In 2010, Cowan was arrested for and convicted for having drug paraphernalia in Maricopa County.

Cowan has recently served time in a federal prison. According to records, he pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute heroin in 2018.

Initially, he was one of 15 defendants indicted in 2017. Federal court documents reveal Cowan’s attorney asked for his client to be given probation and be placed in a drug treatment program. The attorney cited a mental health history of schizophrenia.

Cowan completed an 18-month prison sentence by May 2020 and was on a 36-month supervised released when he was arrested by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. Court records state he manufactured and distributed drugs, endangered a child with drug manufacturing equipment, and threatened a DCS worker.

In May 2021, a judge ordered Cowan to be remanded to custody with the Bureau of Prisons, but it is unknown how long had been out of prison up until now.

We have also learned from the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office that Cowan has two open cases being prosecuted. He had appeared in court on April 11, and a trial was set for October. Now he is on the run from Phoenix police.”

As the search for the violent repeat offender continues, Phoenix police issued the following tweet.

“ATTENTION MEDIA IN HELICOPTERS please film a wide shot. Do not film officers on the ground conducting the search”

Many responded to the tweet with absolutely no clue as to why the request was made.

“If cops aren’t doing anything wrong, then who cares who films what?” tweeted Kourtney Fiorucci. “Are helicopters interfering with the investigation in some way? It makes me laugh when boards of retired cops get all pissed off about independent review. If there’s nothing to hide then let the people review.”

Luckily, people with an understanding of the situation were able to handle the responses.

While they provided numerous reasons for the request, the two primary ideas centered around officer and public safety as well has not providing the suspect any intel, should he be watching local news coverage.

A FOX News story from last week revealed that there has been at 101 confirmed shootings of law enforcement officials in 2022. That number is continuing to climb as criminals wage an all-out assault on members of the law enforcement community.

And as is too often the case, officers are being gunned down by individuals with lengthy criminal records who often times should not be on the streets to begin with.

This is an ongoing and developing story. We will provide updates as they become available.

https://fundourpolice.com/

Report: Murdered police officer’s accused gunman has long criminal history with 18 felonies, still wasn’t behind bars

EVERETT, WA- As a community mourns the loss of Everett Police Officer Dan Rocha, who was shot and killed in the line of duty, records indicate that the suspect accused in the death has a lengthy criminal history.

The accused suspect, 50-year-old Richard James Rotter has a criminal record including at least 18 felonies and hundreds of contacts with Kennewick Police over several years.

As of Saturday, March 26th, Rotter was being held on suspicion of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and first-degree murder of a police officer with a gun.

The deadly incident occurred near a Starbucks shop located in the 1000-block of Broadway Avenue at approximately 2 p.m. on Friday, March 25th.

Rocha was murdered in the line of duty while investigating a report of a suspicious individual. When 41-year-old Rocha arrived on scene, he made contact with Rotter in the shop’s parking lot. According to police, at some point during the encounter, a scuffle broke out between Officer Rocha and the suspect, at which point the suspect to open fire.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, at least one bullet hit Officer Rocha in his head. Investigators said that while fleeing the scene, the gunman then ran over the slain officer’s body with a vehicle.

Police pursued the suspect, who was reportedly driving a Mini Cooper, before he crashed into multiple vehicles near Rucker Avenue and 35th Street. A white van was flipped onto its side from the impact of the collision.

According to authorities, the suspect emerged from the crash with minor injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment before being booked into the Snohomish County Jail.

In a press release, the Everett Police Department (EPD) stated that the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team (SMART) is handling the ongoing investigation into the fatal incident. The press release said, in part:

“Officer Rocha, 41, had lived in Everett for over a decade and served with the Everett Police Department since 2017. He first worked in parking enforcement and in 2018 became a fully commissioned police officer.”

The statement added:

“He served the City of Everett as a patrol officer in North Everett for most of his career and was well respected by both the community and his fellow officers. His loss will forever leave a void in our agency and our community. Officer Rocha is survived by his wife, two sons, and large extended family.”

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman said that the agency has established a memorial fund and is planning a ceremony to honor Officer Rocha. The chief said:

“He was a great man, a great father, and a great husband. His crew members loved working with him and he loved his job.”

Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin released a statement in the wake of the fallen hero:

“I am devastated by the loss of our Officer Dan Rocha, a valued member of our Everett Police Department who was killed today in the line of duty. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones as well as our entire Everett Police Department grieving this senseless loss.”

In a written statement, Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said that the county would support Everett and its police department. He said:

“Our hearts ache for the family, friends, and colleagues of the fallen Everett officer, Dan Rocha. on behalf of Snohomish County, we offer our deepest condolences to the entire community shaken by this loss of life and our thanks those police officers who will be out keeping our community safe, even under the shadow of this tragedy.”

Bail for Rotter has reportedly been set a $5 million. Detectives with SMART are asking anyone who witnessed the shooting or who may have surveillance footage of it to contact them at 425-338-3845.

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