A police officer in the Central Valley was shot and killed during a traffic stop early Wednesday and a manhunt was being conducted in the search for his killer.
Authorities say 33-year-old police Cpl. Ronil Singh pulled over to make a traffic stop about 1 a.m. at Merced Street and Eucalyptus Avenue in Newman, a city of about 10,000 residents in Stanislaus County, KTLA sister station KTXL reported.
Moments later, Singh was heard over the radio saying “shots fired.”
Multiple agencies responded to the scene and found Singh with gunshot wounds.
He was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. Singh had been employed with the Newman Police Department since 2011. Newman is about 25 miles south of Modesto.
The shooter had already left the scene before additional officers arrived.
The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department is leading the investigation. The department has have released photos of the suspect as well as photos of the gray extended-cab Dodge Ram pickup the suspect was driving.
CHP issued a “Blue Alert” for the suspect, whom the state agency described as a heavy-set Hispanic man with black hair. He should be considered armed and dangerous, CHP said.
The truck was described by CHP as a silver 2002 to 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 with paper license plates.
Singh, who worked with a police K-9, is survived by his wife Anamika and young son, according to a statement from Gov. Jerry Brown’s office. Before joining the Newman department, he served the Merced County Sheriff’s Department. He was a native of Fiji, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department noted.
“Our Newman Police family is devastated by the loss of Ronil,” Newman police Chief Randy Richardson said. “If anyone has any information regarding the identity of the suspect, please contact law enforcement immediately so we can get this cop-killer off the streets.”
Flags will be flown at half-staff at the Capitol building in Sacramento, Brown said in offering condolences.
Anyone with information regarding the identity of the suspect to contact Detective Michael Fisher at 209-525-7083 or dispatch at 209-552-2468.