NEWMAN, Stanislaus County (CBS SF / AP) — Hundreds of mourners lined the streets of Newman early Friday for a solemn procession honoring a Central Valley police officer who was gunned down during a traffic stop the day after Christmas.

Television images show people lining up and holding American flags along the streets in Newman where a viewing will be held Friday for Cpl. Ronil Singh.

A casket carrying Singh’s body and draped with an American flag was taken into a theater where the marquis read “Ronil Singh Forever Remember” and several officers were standing in salute position.

Newman Police Officer Ronil Singh (Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office)

A memorial service and burial is scheduled for Saturday in Modesto.

Singh, who emigrated from his native Fiji to pursue a career in law enforcement, joined the Newman police force in 2011. The 33-year-old was married and had a 5-month-old son.

Prosecutors said Perez Arriaga, 33, shot Singh after the officer stopped his vehicle to check if he was driving drunk. He has two previous drunken driving arrests, authorities said.

At his first court appearance, Perez Arriaga told the judge that his real name is Paulo Virgen Mendoza, but authorities were still referring to him as Perez Arriaga in court documents. A complaint lists three aliases for him, including Paulo Virgen Mendoza.

His attorney, Stephen Foley, questioned his client’s mental competency, leading the court to delay the case until a mental health evaluation. Perez Arriaga is set to return to court Feb. 7.

Two of Perez Arriaga’s brothers, his girlfriend and four others were arrested on suspicion of helping him evade authorities.

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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