The man suspected of the murder of Newman police officer Ronil Singh was arrested on Friday after a state-wide, two-day manhunt. The suspect was identified as Gustavo Perez Arriaga and was brought into custody by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.
He was arrested just as a search warrant was going to be carried out on a residence about 200 miles from the shooting. Arriaga surrendered himself unarmed.
Arriaga is facing a murder charge for the shooting of Cpl. Singh after he was pulled over by Singh for suspected driving under the influence. Arriaga is an illegal immigrant from Mexico and has been arrested twice for DUI and was known for his strong gang ties to Mexico.
Also arrested were Adrian Virgen, 25, and Erik Razo Quiroz, 27, for assisting Arriaga while he was on the run.
Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said on Friday during a news conference announcing the arrest “Anyone who provided protection is going to go to jail.”
Singh’s brother, Reggie, thanked officers through tears who were involved in the arrest at the news conference.
“I was waiting for this to happen. You working day and night made this happen,” Singh said.
The killing has made national headlines with President Trump tweeting about the murder on Thursday. He called for Congress to get tough on border security.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2018
This is during a standoff in Congress on funding for his long-promised border wall, which Democrats refuse to vote on any bill that includes wall funding.
Trump has also pledged not to sign a bill that does not include funding. Neither house of Congress would be able to even come close to overturning a presidential veto.
Christianson spoke on Thursday on Arriaga’s illegal status and contrasted it to how Singh immigrated to America legally from Fiji in 2011.
“This suspect, unlike Ron, who immigrated to this county lawfully and legally to pursue his lifelong career of public safety, public service and being a police officer, this suspect is in our country illegally. He doesn’t belong here. He’s a criminal.”
Singh leaves behind a wife and a five-month old son. He also had a K-9 partner who will be retired and remain with the family.