The suspect was identified as Gustavo Perez Arriaga and was arrested in Bakersfield, about 280 miles southeast of Newman, where Police Cpl. Ronil Singh was shot down on Wednesday morning, Fox News reported.
Christianson, whose department has been handling the case, told reporters at a news conference that Arriaga is from Mexico and was in the country illegally after previously crossing the Arizona border, without specifying when that crossing occurred. He also noted that the suspect had been in the country for a number of years and was seeking to cross back into Mexico before the shooting occurred.
Arriaga was stopped as part of a DUI investigation by Singh before engaging in a gunfight with the officer, during which Singh tried to defend himself and was shot, dying of his wounds later on Wednesday.
The police said they've also arrested two others — 25-year-old Adrian Virgen and 27-year-old Erik Razo Quiroz — who had reportedly attempted to mislead investigators in an effort to protect the suspect. They were accused of being accessories after the fact to a felony.
“While we absolutely need to stay focused on Officer Singh’s service and sacrifice, we can’t ignore the fact that this could’ve been preventable," Christianson said. "And under SB54 in California, based on two arrests for DUI and some other active warrants that this criminal has out there, law enforcement would’ve been prevented, prohibited from sharing any information with ICE about this criminal gang member. Ladies and gentlemen, this is not how you protect a community."
The suspect also had gang affiliations, Christianson said. One of the photos of the suspect shows him with a tattoo on his right arm which reads “$ur3no$,” which, according to police in Washington State, is Spanish for “southerners” — a group of Mexican-American street gangs with origins in southern California.
The following pictures of the suspect including a name & birth date have been circulating on social media. We can confirm these are pictures of the man who murdered Corporal Ronil Singh. We CANNOT, however, confirm that the correct name or birth date is being put out. pic.twitter.com/cSCvE1DhEF— Stanislaus Sheriff (@StanSheriff) 28 декабря 2018 г.
President Trump addressed the manhunt on Twitter on Thursday, noting that this is another example why the country needs to take a tough stand on border security. “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,” Trump tweeted. “Time to get tough on Border Security. Build the Wall!” the US President wrote.
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) 27 декабря 2018 г.