By Brittny Mejia and Hannah Fry
Los Angeles Times
The man suspected of fatally shooting a police officer in Stanislaus County, Calif., was in the country illegally, officials said Thursday.
Authorities have identified a suspect in the case but are not releasing his name.
“We will relentlessly continue to hunt our suspect down and bring him to justice so … that we can bring closure to this community and this Police Department,” said Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson.
Shortly after midnight Wednesday, authorities said, Newman police Cpl. Ronil Singh, 33, radioed that he was pulling over a vehicle at Merced Street and Eucalyptus Avenue in Newman. Minutes later, they said, he called out “shots fired” over the radio.
The officers who responded found Singh had been shot. The officer was taken to a hospital, where he died. The motorist he stopped was gone, police said.
Singh, a native of Fiji, started working for the Newman Police Department in 2011. Previously, he worked with the Merced County Sheriff’s Department.
Authorities provided no details about the suspect’s immigration history and said he was not from the Newman area. They have evidence that leads police to believe the suspect is still in the area of Stanislaus County.
Chief Randy Richardson said in a statement that the “Newman police family is devastated by the loss of Ronil” and asked that anyone with information on the suspect contact law enforcement.
On Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown ordered flags at the Capitol be flown at half-staff following Singh’s death.
“Our hearts are with the entire community of Newman and law enforcement officers across the state who risk their lives every day to protect and serve the people of California.”
Singh, who served in a K-9 patrol unit, is survived by a wife and young son.
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