A vehicle wanted in connection with the shooting death of a California police officer Wednesday morning has been discovered, according to authorities. However, the suspect remains at large.
CBS 13 reported that Newman Police Officer Ronil Singh pulled over a gray Dodge pickup truck for having paper license plates in the early hours of Wednesday. He could then be heard saying “shots fired, I’ve been hit” on a police radio.
According to a Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department Facebook post, officials responded to the scene, located on Merced Street and Eucalyptus Avenue in Newman, at 12:57 a.m. They subsequently discovered their fellow officer suffering from “multiple gunshot wounds,” and the suspect gone.
Singh, a native of Fiji who worked at the Newman Police Department since 2011, was later pronounced dead at a local hospital, officials said.
The pickup truck was discovered at a trailer home park on “River Road just outside of Newman” following a tip provided to police, officials announced via Facebook on Wednesday afternoon. Newman is located approximately 80 miles southeast of Sacramento.
Police said they were searching a home at the park after obtaining a search warrant, though the identity of the home’s resident is not yet known. Authorities seized the pickup truck at the scene in search of “clues about the owner,” according to CBS 13.
A resident of the park told the news station he believed the suspect to be his neighbor, though he isn’t aware of the man’s name.
“It’s a bit weird. You don’t know what kind of people people are, I guess,” Carlos Salzaar stated, adding that he doesn’t know the suspect well.
Newman Police Chief Randy Richardson expressed grief regarding Singh’s death, and asked anyone who has information regarding the case to come forward.
“Our Newman Police family is devastated by the loss of Ronil,” he stated. “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.”
The sheriff’s department released still photos of the suspect, which were taken at Newman Food Store just before the shooting, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The owner of the shop told the newspaper the suspect had purchased “two 12-packs of beer.”
Anyone with information pertaining to the incident is urged to contact Detective Michael Fisher at 209-525-7083 or dispatch at 209-552-2468. You may report tips anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636.
This is a developing story. CrimeOnline will provide updates as information becomes available.
[Feature photo: Suspected killer/Merced Police Department, Ronil Singh/Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department]