NEWMAN, CA (ABC News 7) – A search is underway for the man that deputies believe shot and killed Newman Police Corporal Ronil “Ron” Singh around 1 a.m. on Wednesday.
In a Thursday news conference, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson says his department will not release the name of the man suspected of the crime but say they believe they know who he is.
The sheriff also said the suspect they have identified was in the country illegally.
President Donald Trump weighed in after that announcement was made, tweeting, “There is right now a full scale manhunt going on in California for an illegal immigrant accused of shooting and killing a police officer during a traffic stop. Time to get tough on Border Security. Build the Wall!”
Corporal Singh conducted a traffic stop on a pickup truck in Newman early Wednesday morning, for suspicion of driving under the influence.
As he pulled over the vehicle, Corporal Singh described it to dispatchers as a silver Dodge Ram with paper plates from AR Auto, a dealership in Merced.
Moments later, Singh called in for shots fired.
Several deputies from both Stanislaus and Merced counties responded, where they found the truck and suspect gone and Corporal Singh lying on the ground. He was rushed to a nearby hospital but died from his injuries.
That set off a statewide search for the suspect and his truck. Law enforcement quickly released surveillance video from a store showing the suspect.
The truck was found outside the city of Newman in a mobile home park on Wednesday afternoon, but the suspect was not found in the area.
The suspect, who is described as a heavy-set Hispanic man with black hair, is still on the run, and deputies say if you do see the suspect, do not approach him. He is believed to be armed and very dangerous.
If you have any tips, you can leave an anonymous tip by calling a dedicated line: (209) 525-7202. Tipsters can also e-mail tips at http://www.modestopolice.com/CrimeStoppers.
The victim, Corporal Ronil “Ron” Singh, was a K-9 officer with the Newman Police, a small department with just about a dozen sworn officers.
Newman Police Chief Randy Richardson remembered Singh as an “American patriot” who came to the U.S. from Fiji to become a police officer and loved his wife and 5-month-old son dearly.