Police: California officer killing suspect in US illegally

Police: California officer killing suspect in US illegally

News Staff

The police chief of a tiny California town fought back tears as he described the officer gunned down during a traffic stop as a patriot who fought hard to serve his adopted country while the man suspected of killing him crossed the border illegally and is a “coward.”

Cpl. Ronal Singh, who emigrated from his native Fiji, was shot at about 1 a.m. Wednesday after stopping a suspected drunken driver in Newman, southeast of San Francisco in the San Joaquin Valley.

(Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department via AP). This undated photo provided by the Newman Police Department shows officer Ronil Singh of Newman Police Department who was killed by an unidentified suspect. The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department sai...

There was a gunfight as Singh “absolutely tried to defend himself” but he apparently didn’t hit the suspect, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson, whose agency is leading the investigation, said Thursday.

The man suspected of killing him the day after Christmas remained at large Friday despite a manhunt and was considered armed and dangerous.

While law enforcement agencies throughout California had been alerted, the man was believed to still be in the local area.

“We will find him, we will arrest him and we will bring him to justice,” the sheriff said.

Investigators Thursday searched a farmhouse in the town of El Nido in neighboring Merced County but didn’t find the suspect, authorities said.

(Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department via AP). This Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018 image from a surveillance camera video and provided by the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department shows a suspect police are searching for in connection to the fatal shootin...

His name wasn’t released but he was in the United States illegally.

“He doesn’t belong here. He is a criminal,” Christianson said Thursday.

President Donald Trump, whose demand that Congress approve $5 billion for a U.S. southern border wall has led to a partial government shutdown, tweeted Thursday about Singh’s killing, ending with: “Time to get tough on Border Security. Build the Wall!”

Newman’s police chief said the department and its 12 sworn officers were grieving.

Singh was the first officer to die in the line of duty, Chief Randy Richardson said.

Singh, a 33-year-old with a newborn son, was an “American patriot,” the chief said.

“He came to America with one purpose, and that was to serve this country,” Richardson said.

(Deke Farrow/The Modesto Bee via AP). Police investigate the scene of a shooting that took the life of Newman Police Officer Ronil Singh, 33, on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018, in Newman, Calif. Authorities were searching Wednesday for a gunman who shot and ...

Singh drove more than two hours each way to attend the police academy in Yuba City, Richardson said. He joined the Merced County sheriff’s office as a reserve officer and worked as an animal control officer in Turlock before being hired by the Newman force in 2011.

English was Singh’s third language and he had a thick accent but took speech classes to improve his communication, the chief said.

Singh is survived by his wife, Anamika, and their 5-month-old son.

“Please help us find this coward,” Richardson said of Singh’s killer. “We need closure, his family needs closure.”