NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (KLAS) — A Las Vegas teenager once named a “star graduate” faces charges connected to the shooting of a young man and the threatening of a young woman in a North Las Vegas park, the 8 News Now Investigators have learned.
Emilio Rocha, 17, was facing charges of attempted murder, battery with a deadly weapon resulting in substantial bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon, records showed.
On Nov. 19, North Las Vegas police responded to the shooting at Petitti Park, which is near Carey Avenue and Civic Center Drive. Officers located one person with a gunshot wound, they said.
The victim told police he did not know the shooter’s identity. The shooter also left the area before police arrived.
Another person who was at the park with the victim said she and the victim were sitting on some swings when Rocha approached them, saying, “Who the f*** are you?” before shooting him. Rocha also reportedly pointed the gun at her and said, “I will kill you too,” police said.
Rocha and the young woman knew each other, according to police. The young woman said she and Rocha would “flirt,” but that they never dated. Rocha also shared his phone location with her, documents said.
Police suspect Rocha may have tracked her location because she had a pair of his wireless Apple earbuds, which allow users to find their location remotely. The young woman also told police she had received a notification that Rocha was tracking her, but she “didn’t think anything of it,” police said.
Right after the shooting, the girl received text messages from Rocha, saying, “Answer me,” and “quick,” police said. She also told police Rocha had blocked her on social media.
On Dec. 22, Henderson police arrested Rocha in the city, they said.
“Emilio told me that he did think about going to California or Mexico to avoid the police, but then claimed he just needed to get this over with, asking about posting bail,” the officer wrote in the report.
Police booked Rocha into the Clark County Detention Center following his arrest. A North Las Vegas judge released him on his own recognizance because prosecutors had not filed a criminal complaint, records showed.
Rocha then posted $30,000 bond as prosecutors filed a complaint the following day, records showed. Rocha was not due to return to court until April 25.
In 2021, Morris Sunset East High School named Rocha a “star graduate.”
“Emilio is a student leader who is always willing to help others,” a post on the school’s website said. “He also serves as a role model not only for other students, but also for his family, especially his younger brother.”
Nevada law requires juvenile defendants charged with murder or attempted murder to be charged as adults.