(BAKERSFIELD, Calif.) — The man accused of gunning down a Northern California police officer was taken into custody Friday in Bakersfield, California, following a massive manhunt, officials said.
The suspect, Gustavo Perez Arriaga, fled after shooting Newman police Cpl. Ronil Singh, 33, at a traffic stop just before 1 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department.
An undocumented immigrant with known gang affiliations, the 32-year-old Arriaga tried to flee to Mexico after his alleged crime, authorities said Friday.
Arriaga’s brother, Adrian Virgen, and co-worker, Erik Razo Quiroz, were arrested and accused of acting as accomplices, authorities said.
Arriaga, who worked as a farm laborer, has two prior DUI arrests, authorities said, and Cpl. Singh pulled him over because he believed he was under the influence of alcohol.
Singh’s brother, Reggie Singh, burst into tears as he thanked law enforcement for working so quickly to make an arrest.
“I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he said at a news conference, overcome with emotion.
The motive is not clear, authorities said, adding they believe Arriaga was alone when he committed the crime.
Ronil Singh, a native of Fiji, had been with the Newman Police Department since July 2011, the sheriff’s office said. He previously served with the Merced County Sheriff’s Department, according to a statement from California Gov. Jerry Brown.
Ronil Singh is survived by his wife and 5-month-old son, according to officials.
President Donald Trump weighed in on the shooting on Thursday after Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said the suspect was in the country illegally.
“This suspect — unlike Ron, who immigrated to this country lawfully and legally to pursue his lifelong career of public safety, public service and being a police officer — is in our country illegally,” Christianson said Thursday.
“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,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “Time to get tough on Border Security. Build the Wall!”
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