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Wisconsin native injured in Dallas police shootings

Posted at 1:43 PM, Jul 08, 2016

One of the Dallas police officer injured in a sniper shooting Thursday night grew up in Wisconsin’s Dodge County.  

Gretchen Rocha is recovering after she was hit by shrapnel.

Rocha's mother,  Diane Hagen-Bayer, says faith in God alone is what's getting her family through.

“I’ve been praying for the families. I feel like one of the lucky ones, you know," Hagen-Bayer said.

The scene that played out on the streets of Dallas Thursday was a nightmare scenario for the families of the five officers who were killed and the seven wounded.

Rocha was caught in the chaos.

“She did suffer a lot of trauma. Did you know that she was there when a man died, a police officer that she was bringing to the hospital?” Hagen-Bayer said.

Rocha was able to make a quick phone call home to her family, and important gesture for a mom praying for the best.

Rocha comes from a Christian family, strong in their faith, and that’s what her mom  says that's helped them through some difficult times.

"Because I had a son with cancer and I had miscarriages, and I just could always depend on God and that’s what she’s doing,"  Hagen-Bayer said.

Rocha grew up on a Fox Lake farm with cats and a quarter horse named Teddy. Teddy would buck from time to time, but Rocha always got back on, and she always expressed the will to be a police officer — even when her mother expressed concern about that career choice.

She was released from the hospital Friday morning and was already headed back to work by the afternoon.

"I just think people would be encouraged a little bit that she loves what she's doing, because it's hard to find a job you really love," Hagen-Bayer said.

Rocha graduated with a degree in criminal justice from Madison College in the spring of 2015.  The dean of the School of Human and Protective Services, Shawna Carter, issued the following  statement:

"We are all so sorry to hear about the tragedy in Dallas.  We learned that one of the officers injured in the incident was a Madison College graduate from our Criminal Justice program.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to our former student Gretchen Rocha and her family."

U.S. Senate candidate Russ Feingold also thanked Rocha Friday for her public serve and bravery after the police officer was shot in Dallas.

At least one person opened fire on police Thursday night at a protest over recent killings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota, authorities said. Five officers were killed and seven others, including Rocha, were injured.

Feingold said on Twitter he wishes her well in recovery.

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, who Feingold is vying to unseat, also issued a statement on the shooting, saying the shooting is "another sobering reminder of the bravery of our men and women in uniform." Both called to heal the divisions in the country.