Authorities hunt California police officer's killer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Ronil Singh came to the U.S. from his native Fiji to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming an officer, joining a small-town police force in California and working to improve his English. The day after Christmas, he stopped another immigrant, this one in the country illegally, who shot and killed the corporal, authorities said Thursday.

Authorities said they identified but won’t yet name the man who killed Singh of the 12-person Newman Police Department on Wednesday and has not been captured. They believe the attacker is still in the area some 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of San Francisco and is armed and dangerous.

“This suspect is in our country illegally. He doesn’t belong here. He is a criminal,” Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson, whose agency is leading the investigation, told reporters.

Newman Police Chief Randy Richardson fought back tears as he described Singh, a 33-year-old with a newborn son, as an “American patriot.”

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

Trending:
Without American Support Taliban Steamrolls Afghan Army, Walks Away with Precision US Weapons and Armored Fighting Vehicles

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 police chief said.

His death comes amid a political fight over immigration, with President Donald Trump and Congress at an impasse over funding for a border wall that has forced a partial government shutdown.

Trump tweeted about Singh’s killing Thursday, saying it’s “time to get tough on Border Security.” He ended the post with: “Build the Wall!”

Authorities were looking for a man seen in surveillance photos at a convenience store shortly before Singh was killed. Officials pleaded for help from the public and said they were following up on several leads.

“The sheriff’s office will spare no expense in hunting down this criminal,” Christianson said.

Singh pulled over the attacker as part of a drunken driving investigation and fired back to try to defend himself, Christianson said.

He was shot a few minutes after radioing that he was pulling over a gray pickup truck that had no license plate in Newman, a town of about 10,000 people, officials said. Singh died at a hospital.

A ground and air search began for the heavyset man pictured at the store with short, dark hair and wearing a silver chain, jeans, dark T-shirt and a dark jacket with white Ecko brand patches on the shoulders.

Related:
Lawmakers Introduce Legislation That Could Curb Big Tech's Market Power

A truck believed to have been the one stopped by Singh was later found in a garage in a mobile home park about 4 miles (6 kilometers) from the shooting, where law enforcement officers were serving a search warrant, The Modesto Bee reported. Investigators were examining the vehicle, police said.

Richardson said his department of 12 is grieving Singh, and other agencies are lending a hand.

“He was living the American dream,” said Stanislaus County sheriff’s Deputy Royjinder Singh, who is not related to the slain officer but knew him. “He loved camping, loved hunting, loved fishing, loved his family.”

Ronil Singh was never in a bad mood and always had a smile on his face, Richardson said.

On his Facebook page, Singh posted pictures on Christmas Eve from a deep-sea fishing trip that produced a big haul of crabs and fish. His profile picture shows him smiling as he stands at a patrol car with his police dog — the same photograph of the officer released by the Sheriff’s Department.

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.”

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation