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Dec. 28, 2018 / 8:16 PM GMT
By Elisha Fieldstadt
The man suspected of gunning down a California police officer during a traffic stop was arrested Friday after a two-day manhunt.
Gustavo Perez Arriaga was arrested in Bakersfield by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, said Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson.
He was arrested during an execution of a search warrant at a residence about 200 miles south of where the shooting happened.
Arriaga, 32, is suspected of fatally shooting Newman Police Cpl. Ronil Singh, 33, after the officer stopped him before 1 a.m. PT (4 a.m. ET) Wednesday on suspicions he was driving under the influence. He is facing a homicide charge.
Two other men, Adrian Virgen, 25, and Erik Razo Quiroz, 27, were also arrested Friday on accessory after a felony for trying to divert investigators, Christianson said at a news conference.
“Anyone who provided protection is going to go to jail,” he said.
Singh’s brother, Reggie, through sobs, thanked those who were involved in the arrests during the news conference.
“I was waiting for this to happen. You working day and night made this happen,” Singh said.
Christianson said Arriaga had been arrested twice before on DUI charges, had known gang affiliations and was trying to flee to Mexico when officers apprehended him.
President Donald Trump on Thursday tweeted about the killing: “Time to get tough on Border Security. Build the Wall!”
Trump has on multiple occasions highlighted crimes committed by people in the U.S. illegally as he pushes for border security.
“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,” Christianson said Thursday. “He doesn’t belong here. He’s a criminal.”
Singh immigrated to the U.S. from Fiji and joined the Newman Police Department in 2011. Earlier in his career, he was a reserve deputy with the Merced County Sheriff’s Office. He was a husband and a new father to a 5-month-old boy.
“He will never see his son walk. He doesn’t get to hold that little boy, hug his wife, say goodnight anymore — because a coward took his life,” Richardson said, adding that the small Newman Police Department has never seen a line of duty death.
Newman Police Chief Randy Richardson was emotional Thursday when he spoke about the slain officer during a news conference.
“I did not know Christmas morning, at 4 o’clock in the morning when I said goodbye to him and sent him off to his family that it would be the last time that I saw him,” Richardson said.
A photo taken that day shows Singh and his K-9 in uniform along with his wife and baby and his K-9 posing in front of a Christmas tree. The K-9, Sam, will retire and remain with the family.