Man Suspected of Killing Newman Police Officer Arrested

BAKERSFIELD -- The man suspected of fatally shooting Newman Police Officer Ronil Singh has been arrested.

The shooter, later identified as Gustavo Perez Arriaga, was arrested in Kern County. Friday was Arriaga's 32nd birthday.

Arriaga's brother, 25-year-old Adrian Virgen, and co-worker, 32-year-old Erik Razo Quiroz, were also arrested for allegedly misleading investigators.

Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said Arriaga, who had been living in the country illegally for the last several years, was making his way to the U.S.-Mexico border to flee the country. Christianson added that Arriaga has a criminal history of driving under the influence and was a member of the Sureno street gang.

Three more people were arrested in Kern County -- Bernabe Madrigal Castaneda, Erasmo Villegas and Maria Louisa Morena -- on suspicion of aiding and abetting Arriaga.

When asked if he had anything to say to Arriaga, Sheriff Christianson only said, "Happy birthday."

Singh was killed early Wednesday morning during a traffic stop, police said, prompting an intense manhunt throughout Central California.

Members of Singh's family joined officials at a news conference Friday.

"I was waiting for this to happen," Singh's brother, Reggie, said. "I’d like to thank you for working day and night to make this happen."

Arriaga was taken back to Stanislaus County later Friday -- in Singh's handcuffs.

Christianson said Friday that Singh's death likely would not have happened were it not for California's Senate Bill 54, which prohibits law enforcement agencies within the state from sharing information with federal immigration authorities.

"This is a criminal illegal alien that should have been reported to ICE.  We were prohibited because of sanctuary laws and that led to the encounter with Officer Singh," Christianson said. "I’m suggesting that the outcome could have been different if law enforcement wasn’t restricted, prohibited or had their hands tied because of political interference.”

Singh himself was an immigrant, a native of Fiji, who came to the U.S. legally.

Newman Police Chief Randy Richardson said Friday that his dream was to serve the United States and that dream was taken from him.

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