As Modesto, California prepares for the Jan. 5 memorial service for an Indian-American police officer killed in the line of duty, President Donald Trump personally called his family to commiserate Jan. 3.
Corporal Ronil Singh, 33, of the Newman Police Department in Merced County, California, was shot to death when he attended to a traffic stop on Christmas night at 1 am. His death gained national attention and turned political when police revealed the alleged shooter was an undocumented alien.
White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders, released a statement Jan. 3, on the President’s call to Singh’s family.
“This afternoon, President Trump spoke with the family and law enforcement colleagues of fallen Newman, California, police officer Ronald “Ron” Singh.” The White House later corrected the spelling of Ronil’s name. The statement also misspelled Singh’s wife’s first name, Anamika.
“The President praised Officer Singh’s service to his fellow citizens, offered condolences, and commended law enforcement’s rapid investigation, response, and apprehension of the suspect,” Sanders said in the statement.
“Included in the President’s calls were Corporal Singh’s wife, Amanika “Mika” Chand-Singh; Newman, California Police Chief Randy Richardson, and Sheriff Adam Christianson of Stanislaus County, California,” the White House statement said.
Since he came into office President Trump has focused on victims of violent crimes committed by illegal immigrants, as one of the arguments for building a border wall.
He immediately weighed in on Twitter after a press conference Dec. 26, the day Singh was killed, where Singh’s superior at the Merced County Police Department, broke down while describing the young Indian-American police officer.
“There is right now a full scale manhunt going on in California fo 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!” President Trump tweeted.
Police arrested Gustavo Perez Arriaga, who came to the U.S. illegally and was believed to be fleeing Mexico.
The Modesto Police Department posted the route of the Jan. 5 memorial for Singh on Twitter. “Road closure alert for Corporal Ronil Singh’s Memorial Service on Saturday, January 5th. Needham Avenue will be closed from approximately 5 AM until 2 PM between College Avenue and McHenry Avenue. Through traffic will not be permitted on several side streets, south of Needham.”
Tributes poured in for Singh from friends, acquaintances, and colleagues.
California Governor Jerry Brown, ordered flags be flown at half-staff at the Capitol in Sacramento to honor Singh. In a statement, the Governor said, “On behalf of all Californians, Anne and I extend our condolences to Corporal Singh’s wife, young son, loved ones and colleagues. Our hearts are with the entire community of Newman and law enforcement officers across the state who risk their lives every day to protect and serve the people of California.”
Singh’s uncle Ugesh Yogi Singh said on Facebook, “My adventurous nephew. Lived life to it’s fullest in just 33 years. My family’s Action Hero Honorable Ronil Singh. Working on Christmas Night to provide the best for his family
Singh is King forever.!! Love you Beta. See you in heaven.
A very adventurous and beautiful soul, taken away too soon. He leaves behind wife and son only 5 months old son. He was a great role model for our next generation of Indo Americans. Dang! He’ll be missed.”
“He was super friendly and outgoing,” said Sgt. Tom Letras, a spokesman with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, was quoted saying in the Modesto Bee.
Singh also leaves behind a five-month old son. Just hours before he was killed, Singh, his wife and their child took a photo with their Christmas tree at home.
Singh’s posts on Facebook reveal an adventurous young man. On Christmas eve, Singh went deep sea fishing, evident from the photos he posted.