The brother of fallen police officer Ronil Singh broke down in tears while thanking the law enforcement officials who apprehended his brother’s murderer during a press conference on Friday.
“Please, bear with me. This is not easy for me. Ronil Singh was my older brother. Yes, he is not coming back, but there are a lot of people out there that miss him. And a lot of law enforcement people that I don’t know worked days and nights to make this happen,” Reggie Singh said.
He continued, “I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart, to make this happen. I wish I could thank all of the law enforcement agencies, Homeland Security in San Francisco, everyone. I was waiting for this to happen. I’d like to thank you, working day and night to make this happen.”
The deceased 33-year-old’s sibling Reggie broke down in tears before taking to the microphone in a news conference as police informed the public that Gustavo Perez Arriaga, 32, was arrested in Bakersfield that morning on suspicion of killing the Newman Police Department Corporal on the morning of December 26.
— Sara Zendehnam (@szendehnam) December 28, 2018
Reggie’s appeal to the public was mostly a show of appreciation for the investigating cops.
‘I wish I could thank all the law enforcement agencies, Homeland Security in San Francisco, everyone. Bakersfield team…’ he continued to sob. ‘I was waiting for this to happen. I’d like to thank you for working day and night to make this happen. Thank you.’
— Mireya Villarreal (@cbsmireya) December 28, 2018
Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said Arriaga is a Mexican national who illegally entered the U.S. through Arizona several years ago and was a part of the notoriously violent Sureños street gang.
The sheriff whose agency was leading the investigation blamed California’s sanctuary law for preventing local authorities from reporting Gustavo Perez Arriaga to federal immigration officials for previous arrests. If the suspect had been deported, he said, Cpl. Ronil Singh of the tiny Newman Police Department would still be alive.
“We can’t ignore the fact that this could have been preventable,” Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said, asking why the state was “providing sanctuary for criminals (and) gang members. It’s a conversation we need to have.”
President Trump tweeted about Singh’s killing Thursday, saying it was “time to get tough on Border Security. Build the Wall!”
Following a statewide manhunt, Perez Arriaga was arrested on a murder warrant in a house near Bakersfield, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of the scene of the shooting.
Perez Arriaga crossed the border in Arizona several years ago and had worked a variety of jobs as a laborer, including at several dairies. He also had two prior arrests for driving while intoxicated, Christianson said.
Cops also arrested Arriaga’s brother Adrian Virgen, 25, and co-worker Erik Razo Quiroz, 32, on Thursday for allegedly helping Arriaga escape police on charges of accessory after the fact to a felony.
Christianson spoke at a news conference about the need to make laws stricter as Singh’s brother wept beside him.
Singh, also 33, was an immigrant too, arriving legally from his native Fiji to fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, authorities said. He had a newborn son and joined the 12-officer Newman police force in 2011.
“He came to America with one purpose, and that was to serve this country,” Newman Police Chief Randy Richardson said, choking up. He called Singh an “American patriot.”
Singh, the department’s first officer to die in the line of duty, drove more than two hours each way to attend the police academy in Yuba City, Richardson said. He joined the Merced County sheriff’s office as a reserve officer and worked as an animal control officer in Turlock before being hired by the Newman force in 2011.
Source: AP & Daily Mail