NEWMAN, Calif. (KTXL) -- It was a year of perseverance in Newman after the loss of Police Cpl. Ronil Singh.
Singh was killed by a suspected drunken driver who did not want to comply at a traffic stop on Dec. 26, 2018. Instead, investigators say Paulo Virgen Mendoza shot Singh and went on the run for 55 hours.
"Every day it's not easy but our brotherhood makes us get through. Our family makes us get through," said Singh’s brother.
Singh's brother was one of many still overwhelmed by all that happened as Thursday’s vigil marked the grim anniversary.
Singh's chief said there were times he didn't know how the department would make it.
"It's been a difficult year,” said Newman Police Chief Randy Richardson. “I can't believe it's been a year already."
A community of supporters walked from the plaza at the heart of the city Singh loved to the newly dedicated flagpole near where he died at Eucalyptus Avenue and Merced Street.
His young son, only 5 months old when he lost his father, paid tribute in his own way. Singh's great-uncle told FOX40 the officer’s legacy was not lost on his little one.
"Very bright kid. He knows who his daddy is. He touches the pictures and says ‘daddy, dada, dada,’” said Birindar Singh.
People who were a part of Ronil Singh’s life since he immigrated to the U.S. from Fiji came to pay their respects to a man who motivated them to be better.
"I accepted his application at the counter and saw a real young, goal-oriented kid, I call him, who wanted to live out a couple dreams, get his citizenship and become a police officer," said retired Turlock Police Officer Matt Speckman.
"We miss him but we know he's in good hands," Birindar Singh said. "God chose him to be with him."