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Roommate: No idea accused North Kansas City officer murderer made ghost guns

Roommate offers condolences to officer's family
Rocha house
Posted at 4:01 PM, Jul 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-22 17:39:30-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Joshua Rocha, the man accused of killing North Kansas City officer Daniel Vasquez, was renting a room in a Northland house with his mother.

According to their roommate, Rocha and his mother had been there for about four to five months.

"Nobody expected this," Emmy Ridout, whose family lives at the house, said.

Ridout said the shock of what happened is something she can't wrap her mind around, saying what Rocha did was "really messed up."

We got permission from Ridout's mom to talk to her about what was going on the morning of the murder.

"I didn't have a lot of interaction with him that day, but he was at the kitchen table while I made breakfast and I offered to make him breakfast," Ridout said. "But he looked like, really stressed out, like his demeanor was off."

Ridout said that was unusual because they usually said "What's up" to each other when they crossed paths.

She said her interaction with him that morning was around 10 a.m.

Almost an hour later, prosecutors say Rocha shot and killed Vasquez at a traffic stop just four miles south of the house.

According to a detective's search warrant application, Rocha's mother said he came back home around 11 a.m.

Rocha's mother said that he was distraught and told her he shot a police officer.

She also said he told her he made a fully automatic assault rifle and "couldn't go to jail."

His mother said he changed his clothes and left, leaving his cell phone in the room. He turned himself in at the Clay County Annex by 1:20 p.m.

"I didn't know he had all that gun stuff," Ridout said. "I didn't know he was making guns, I just knew he owned one."

Rocha's mother told investigators he had a 3D printer and had made more than one gun with it.

Ridout said she remembers seeing him with a Taurus handgun.

"I'm not that into guns, but I just know it was a Taurus and I remember that 'cause his car was a Ford Taurus," Ridout said. "I had no idea what his intentions were. I thought he just owned a handgun to protect himself."

Between the time Rocha allegedly shot Vasquez and the time he turned himself in, police were actively searching for him. Detectives set up a surveillance on the house.

Ridout said she and her friend were walking her dog and remember seeing cars that they thought looked suspicious because they were there for a while and running.

Ridout and the friend came back home. Another friend came to pick up Ridout to go to a concert.

The warrant application said detectives followed the car and pulled them over, asking Ridout if she knew Rocha.

"They followed us out, and I didn't even get past Northgate until when they pulled us over," Ridout said. "They just told me they were going to take me back to my house."

Later on, Ridout said police went into the house and searched Rocha's room and took things out with them while Ridout stood outside.

According to the search warrant, police were looking for various items including firearms, ammunition, spent shell casings, magazines, fingerprints, DNA, Rocha's clothes from the shooting, his cell phone, the 3D printer and its software, and gun-making materials.

Ridout said Rocha and his mother kept to themselves. She said they went to work, came home, cleaned and cooked.

She said she doesn't remember him ever talking about hurting someone else or a police officer and didn't see his social media.

Ridout said she feels terrible for what happened to Vasquez.

"I'm really sorry to the family," Ridout said. "I know what it's like to lose somebody and it's going to be hard."