Slain Police Cpl. Ronil Singh honored at funeral in Stanislaus County

AP logo
Saturday, January 5, 2019
Community, family, friends say final goodbye to Police Corporal Ronil Singh
A public funeral was held for the 33-year-old in Modesto Saturday morning.

MODESTO, Calif. -- Funeral services were held in central California Saturday for Cpl. Ronil Singh, the police officer who authorities say was shot to death by a man in the country illegally.

Singh was killed Dec. 26 when he pulled over a suspected drunk driver.

Just hours earlier, the 33-year-old officer had been home celebrating Christmas with his wife, 5-month-old son and K-9 dog before starting his night shift.

An intense, dayslong manhunt led to the arrest of a man who authorities said was preparing to flee to Mexico. Gustavo Perez Arriaga, also 33, has been charged with murder and seven others arrested on suspicion of helping him evade authorities.

The case has rekindled a debate over California's sanctuary law that limits cooperation by local authorities with federal immigration authorities. President Donald Trump has cited Singh's killing to call for tougher border security amid a fight with congressional Democrats over funding for a border wall, which has forced a partial government shutdown.

Trump mentioned at a news conference Friday that he called Singh's family to offer his condolences.

Singh, who emigrated from his native Fiji to pursue a career in law enforcement, joined the 12-member Newman police force in 2011.

On Friday, his casket was draped in an American flag and driven about 25 miles in a procession from Modesto into a theater in the small town of Newman for a viewing. People lined up along the streets to honor the fallen officer.

He was remembered at a memorial service Saturday at a community church in Modesto. Singh's body will be taken on a procession to its final resting place at Lakewood Memorial Park in the nearby town of Hughson.