VIDEO: 'Please remember the man': Police chief gives emotional statement, calling slain Newman Cpl. Ronil Singh an 'American patriot'
In a Thursday news conference, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson says his department will not release the name of the man suspected of the crime but say they believe they know who he is.
The sheriff also said the suspect they have identified was in the country illegally.
President Donald Trump weighed in after that announcement was made, tweeting, "There is right now a full scale manhunt going on in California for an illegal immigrant accused of shooting and killing a police officer during a traffic stop. Time to get tough on Border Security. Build the Wall!"
There is right now a full scale manhunt going on in California for an illegal immigrant accused of shooting and killing a police officer during a traffic stop. Time to get tough on Border Security. Build the Wall!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2018
Corporal Singh conducted a traffic stop on a pickup truck in Newman early Wednesday morning, for suspicion of driving under the influence.
As he pulled over the vehicle, Corporal Singh described it to dispatchers as a silver Dodge Ram with paper plates from AR Auto, a dealership in Merced.
Moments later, Singh called in for shots fired.
Several deputies from both Stanislaus and Merced counties responded, where they found the truck and suspect gone and Corporal Singh lying on the ground. He was rushed to a nearby hospital but died from his injuries.
VIDEO: 'One minute you're celebrating and one minute you're not there': Loved ones remember Newman police officer killed
That set off a statewide search for the suspect and his truck. Law enforcement quickly released surveillance video from a store showing the suspect.
The truck was found outside the city of Newman in a mobile home park on Wednesday afternoon, but the suspect was not found in the area.
The suspect. who is described as a heavy-set Hispanic man with black hair, is still on the run, and deputies say if you do see the suspect, do not approach him. He is believed to be armed and very dangerous.
The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department is leading the effort to find the suspect, and Sheriff Christianson says his deputies are getting tips from people in Fresno and Merced counties, all the way up to the Bay Area.
MEMORIAL FUND Information— Stanislaus Sheriff (@StanSheriff) December 27, 2018
The Stanislaus Sworn Deputies Association has established a Corporal Ronil Singh, Newman PD Memorial Fund. Donations can be made in person at any West America Bank Branch to the Corporal Ronil Singh Memorial Fund or online athttps://t.co/1MK10q99u7
If you have any tips, you can leave an anonymous tip by calling a dedicated line: (209) 525-7202. Tipsters can also e-mail tips at http://www.modestopolice.com/CrimeStoppers.
The victim, Corporal Ronil "Ron" Singh, was a K-9 officer with the Newman Police, a small department with just about a dozen sworn officers.
Newman Police Chief Randy Richardson remembered Singh as an "American patriot" who came to the U.S. from Fiji to become a police officer and loved his wife and 5-month-old son dearly.
VIDEO: Witness records active scene after Police Corporal is shot in Newman
The officer's canine partner, Sam, is now at home with the Singh family. Chief Richardson said that the dog would be retired from the department early to live permanently with the Singh family.
A memorial fund has been set up for Corporal Singh. Donations can be made in several different ways:
Any West America Bank Branch to the Corporal Ronil Singh Memorial Fund (Newman Police Department)
Stanislaus Sworn Deputies Association
Corporal Ronil Singh Memorial Fund
PO Box 2314
Ceres, CA 95307
The Stanislaus Sworn Deputies Association says please be aware there are NO other approved or authorized memorial fund or online fundraising accounts that will be established.
Take a look at the latest stories, videos and updates on the shooting death of Corporal Ronil Singh.