On emotional day, search continues for suspect in death of Newman corporal
|| Modesto Bee
“The manhunt continued late Thursday afternoon for the man suspected of gunning down a Newman Police Department corporal.
Stanislaus County detectives searched a farmhouse about 12 miles south of Merced on Thursday afternoon in connection with the shooting death of Cpl. Ronil Singh.
While no suspect was found on that property, Sgt. Tom Letras said it was one of several searches being conducted on a day filled with urgency, emotion and politics from afar.
Speaking at a news conference in Newman Thursday morning, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said he believed the suspect was still in the area, although he would not elaborate.
“We will find him, we will arrest him and we will bring him to justice,” he said.
Singh, 33, was shot and killed at 1 a.m. Wednesday after pulling over a suspected drunk driver at Merced Street and Eucalyptus Avenue.
Christianson said investigators have identified the suspect, and that he was in the country illegally.
“He doesn’t belong here; he is a criminal,” the sheriff said.
Less than two hours after after the press conference, President Donald Trump Tweeted about the suspect’s illegal immigration status.
“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!” he Tweeted.
Christianson said he could not speak to whether the suspect is believed to have been alone at the time of the traffic stop and shooting. He did say deputies are looking for no other suspects.
“The primary suspect is the only suspect involved in the murder of Officer Singh,” Christianson said.
He said Singh exchanged gunfire with the suspect but is not believed to have hit him.
“It was a gunfight,” the sheriff said. “Cpl. Singh absolutely tried to defend himself and stop this credible threat.”
The truck the suspect was driving was found Wednesday afternoon at a mobile home park in the 26000 block of River Road, about 4.5 miles northeast of the shooting scene.
The sheriff would not comment on any possible connection the suspect has to the mobile home park, or whether anyone is thought to have helped him flee after the truck was left there.
The search late Thursday afternoon was conducted in the tiny town of El Nido near Highway 59 and East Roosevelt Road. Law enforcement officers from Stanislaus and Merced counties dispersed by about 4:30 p.m., without comment.”
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