STANISLAUS COUNTY (CBS SF/AP) — Authorities on Thursday were continuing the statewide search for the suspect who fatally shot a Stanislaus County police officer during a traffic stop in Newman early Wednesday.
Newman police said 33-year-old Officer Ronil Singh was killed just before 1 a.m. during a traffic stop at Merced Street and Eucalyptus Avenue in Newman. He cried “shots fired” over the radio and then went silent.
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 dead.
A ground and air search began after the fatal incident. Authorities were looking for a man seen in surveillance photos at a convenience store shortly before the shooting.
He appeared to be a heavy man with short, dark hair, a silver chain, jeans, dark T-shirt and a dark jacket with white Ecko brand patches on the shoulders.
Newman detectives asked anyone with information about the man’s identity to contact them.
“We have sent out information to law enforcement up and down the state, as well as outside California,” Letras said.
A truck believed to have been the one stopped by Singh was later found in a garage in a mobile home park about 4 miles from the shooting. Investigators were examining it, police said.
Newman is about 70 miles east of San Jose, on the other side of the Diablo Range.
Singh was a native of Fiji and the father of an infant son. He joined the Newman police force in 2011. Earlier in his career, Singh worked as a deputy with the Merced County Sheriff’s Department.
“He was living the American dream,” said Stanislaus County sheriff’s Deputy Royjinder Singh, who is not related to the slain officer but knew him.
“He loved camping, loved hunting, loved fishing, loved his family,” the deputy said.
On his Facebook page, Singh posted pictures on Christmas Eve from a deep-sea fishing trip that produced a big haul of crabs and fish. The profile picture shows him smiling as he stands at a patrol car with a dog — the same photograph of the officer released by the Sheriff’s Department.
Singh is survived by his wife, Anamika, and a 5-month-old son, authorities said.
Outgoing California Gov. Jerry Brown offered condolences to Singh’s family and said flags at the Capitol would fly at half-staff in his honor.
“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.
© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.