Published: Sat, December 29, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Man Suspected of Killing Newman Police Officer Arrested

Man Suspected of Killing Newman Police Officer Arrested

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".

Gustavo Perez Arriaga was arrested near Bakersfield, about 200 miles southeast of the scene of the shooting.

On Friday, heavily armed police officers surrounded the Bakersfield home where they believed Arriaga was hiding and he walked out with his hands up, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood told reporters. Christianson didn't say when the 33-year-old came to the USA but that the Mexico native has been living here for several years. The sheriff did not provide the name of his employer because he said Arriaga had no long-term, consistent employment at one job.

The sheriff also announced that photos circulating on social media of the suspect are of the man "who murdered Corporal Ronil Singh".

Two other men were taken into custody Friday, including Arriaga's brother, who allegedly lied to cops and helped him escape.

"We can't ignore the fact that this could have been preventable", he said, adding that California Senate Bill 54 - which became law past year - prohibited his department "from sharing any information with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USICE) about this criminal gang member".

At the news conference Friday, Christianson had strong words about immigration and border security.

The 33-year-old officer was an immigrant, too, arriving legally from his native Fiji to fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, authorities said.

President Donald Trump used the shooting and Arriaga's status to push his immigration policies.

Adrian Virgen

Trump tweeted about the shooting on Thursday, days after the December 22 partial shutdown of the federal government.

Newman Calif., police officer Ronil Singh is pictured in a photo on display at a press conference about the hunt for his killer, December 27, 2018.

In the incident, Singh, 33, pulled over the suspect at 1 a.m. on December 26, before he was shot.

Multiple agencies responded to assist early Wednesday after Singh cried out "shots fired" over the radio and then went silent.

His brother, Reggie Singh, spoke to the crowd while holding the slain officer's 5-month-old son, wrapped in a blanket against the winter chill.

Three people were also arrested at the home, Youngblood said.

Christianson stated the suspect was not a resident of Newman and had immigrated into the United States illegally.

The Stanislaus Sworn Deputies Association (SSDA) has established a Corporal Ronil Singh, Newman PD Memorial Fund.

Officials later revealed that the suspect was an illegal immigrant. He joined the Newman Police Department in July 2011.

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