Loved ones of slain Cpl. Ronil Singh shared heartfelt memories at his funeral on Saturday, more than a week after he was killed in the line of duty.
Randy Richardson, the chief of the Newman Police Department, remembered personal stories about Singh, whom he called "a great man."
The first of several services for Singh took place on Friday morning. Crowds lined up on side of the road to pay their last respects as Singh’s body travelled from Modesto to Newman in California. An Honour Guard Viewing was also held.
Photos and flowers lined the aisles of the theatre in downtown Newman with Singh’s flag-draped casket at the front, ABC7News reported.
This moment broke me. Newman Police Chief Richardson brings over the flag for Singh to his wife. Thank you for your service and dedication Cpl. Ronil Singh.— Madison Meyer (@madisonmeyer) January 6, 2019
Photo courtesy: Marty Bicek/Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department @ABC10 pic.twitter.com/Gl2qwdAhO2
Singh, of the Newman Police Department was shot and killed at a traffic stop on December 26 by an illegal immigrant named Gustavo Perez Arriaga when he was planning to flee to his native Mexico.
Just hours before the incident, the 33-year-old officer had been home celebrating Christmas with his wife and five-month-old son before starting his night shift.
Singh, who was a native of Fiji and joined the force in July 2011, had called off on a traffic stop in Newman and a few moments later he called out “shots fired” over the radio.
Multiple agencies responded to assist and Singh was found at the scene with gunshot wounds. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
California police arrested the suspect last week at a Bakersfield, California home.
Perez Arriaga had crossed into the US illegally and at a news conference last week, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson had said that the killing could have been prevented if California’s sanctuary law hadn’t prevented local authorities from reporting Perez Arriaga—who had gang affiliations—to immigration officials after two previous arrests.
President Donald Trump spoke with Singh’s widow and colleagues on Thursday.
HONORING THE FALLEN: Dozens of law enforcement gather outside the church following an emotional funeral for slain Cpl. Ronil Singh, who was killed in the line of duty during a traffic stop. https://t.co/nMMkjbpzXt pic.twitter.com/JNo2hkZjph— ABC News (@ABC) January 5, 2019
Singh was a more than seven-year veteran of the Newman Police Department and was assigned as a canine officer. Prior to joining the Newman Police Department, he served with the Merced County Sheriff’s Department.
He is survived by wife Anamika and a five-month-old son.
Tributes and condolence messages for Singh poured in from police departments and officials across the country.
California Governor Edmund Brown extended his condolences to Singh’s wife, their young son and colleagues. “Our hearts are with the entire community of Newman and law enforcement officers across the state who risk their lives every day to protect and serve the people of California,” Brown said.
In honour of Singh, Capitol flags in California were flown at half-staff.