“Gretchen was shot:” Officer from WI injured in Dallas sniper attack; witnessed fellow officer’s death

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DALLAS -- One of the Dallas police officers injured Thursday night in an attack on police is from Dodge County, Wisconsin.

Gretchen Rocha

Gretchen Rocha

Officials with nine Wisconsin law enforcement agencies on Friday, July 8th gathered in Wild Goose Park to honor the five officers killed in Dallas when a suspect opened fire "ambush style" during what was a peaceful protest over back-to-back killings of African-American men by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Alton Sterling) and Falcon Heights, Minnesota (Philando Castile). Seven other officers were hurt in Dallas Thursday night.

FOX6 News on Friday spoke with Diane Bayer, who said she was blissfully unaware of the attack on police in Dallas until her 13-year-old daughter shared some news.

"'Mom, Gretchen was shot.' I said 'what? What?' But I quickly found out she was OK," Bayer said.

23-year-old Gretchen Rocha, a Dallas police officer was injured in her arm and leg by shrapnel during the gunfire. Rocha is a Wisconsin native. Another officer died in her car while she was driving.

Diane Bayer

Diane Bayer

"I know I'm one of the lucky ones. She was one of the blessed ones that didn`t get seriously injured. She left at 2:00 a.m. They released her," Bayer said.

Bayer said Friday she's now worried about the emotional trauma her daughter will need to work through.

"That`s what I`ll be praying for, for her to not be too traumatized and be able to sleep at night," Bayer said.

Gretchen Rocha grew up on a farm in Dodge County. She adored her horses and always wanted to be a police officer when she grew up.

Gretchen Rocha

Gretchen Rocha

"And I thought she`d grow out of it. I thought, 'yeah, right Gretchen`s going to do this.' She surprised me," Bayer said.

Rocha graduated from the Dallas Police Academy in June. Bayer said they're so proud of her, but can't help but think their story could be much different after what happened Thursday night in Dallas. Five of Rocha's fellow officers lost their lives.


"I`m praying for them and their families. It`s got to be awful," Bayer said.

On Friday afternoon, the Dodge County Sheriff's Office and surrounding agencies gathered, wearing their mourning bands to show their support for the lives lost in Dallas.

Prayers for Dallas in Dodge County

Prayers for Dallas in Dodge County

"The men and women of Dodge County Sheriff`s Office will never forget this ultimate sacrifice. All units break for a moment of silence," officials said. "It`s a brotherhood. We`re all family. It doesn`t matter where we`re from."

Rocha's father told FOX6 News she plans to go back to work right away. Her mother said she wasn't surprised by that -- adding that Rocha loves her job as a police officer.


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