6 arrested in death of Newman police officer Ronil Singh

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RONIL SINGH

A man suspected of killing police officer Ronil Singh this week in Newman, California, has been arrested, Deputy Blake Edwards with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

The suspect, 33-year-old Gustavo Perez Arriaga, was arrested at a home in Bakersfield early Friday. 

He has been charged with homicide, according to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department. 

Arriaga came to the United States illegally and was believed to have been fleeing to Mexico, Christianson said.

The sheriff elaborated on Arriaga’s history, explaining that he was arrested twice previously for DUIs and has known gang affiliation.

Harinder Singh Toor, a close friend of fallen officer Singh, posted a photo Friday showing the suspect being led into a sheriff’s car. 

Authorities say a total of five others were arrested in connection with helping Arriaga escape. 

25-year-old Adrian Virgen and 27-year-old Erik Razo Quiroz were arrested Thursday for helping Arriaga escape after he shot Corporal Singh. 

Virgen was arrested in Hanford, while Quiroz was arrested in Modesto. 

Both were arrested for accessory after the fact to a felony. 

In Kern County, three people were arrested for aiding and abetting: 59-year-old Bernabe Madrigal Castaneda, 36-year-old Erasmo Villegas, and 57-year-old Maria Luisa Moreno. 

All are from Bakersfield. 

The sheriff leading the investigation into the shooting death of a California police officer took aim at so-called sanctuary laws that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities.

Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson told reporters Friday that the suspect was in the country illegally and that if he had been deported for previous DUI arrests, Cpl. Ronil Singh would still be alive.

Christianson blamed California’s sanctuary law for preventing local authorities from reporting Gustavo Perez Arriaga to federal immigration officials.

Singh’s brother, Reggie, thanked officers through sobs.

“Ronil Singh was my older brother. Yes, he’s not coming back, but there’s a lot of people out there that misses him,” Reggie said. Referring to the arrest, he said, “I was waiting for this to happen. I’d like to thank you working day and night to make this happen.”

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