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More Arrested in Shooting Death of Police Officer, Bringing Total to 8

Following a 55-hour manhunt, Gustavo Perez Arriaga and seven others have been arrested in connection with the shooting death of Newman police Cpl. Ronil Singh, according to The Sacramento Bee.

Arriaga, 32, the suspected shooter, was arrested about 200 miles from where the deadly traffic stop took place. Singh pulled Arriaga over early on Wednesday morning for a possible DUI before shots were fired and Singh was killed minutes later around 1 a.m.

The Sacramento Bee reported that Arriaga, an illegal immigrant, then fled the scene and was reportedly on his way back to Mexico when he was arrested, according to Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson.

Arriaga entered the United States illegally in Arizona and though the exact time of entry is not known, he has been in the United States for several years, Fox News reported.

Arriaga had known gang affiliations and two DUI arrests, according to Christianson.

Along with Arriaga, the suspect’s girlfriend, Ana Leyde Cervantes, and brother Conrado Virgen Mendoza were arrested on Friday afternoon and a possible murder weapon was recovered.

Five others have been arrested in the last 48 hours for accessory after the fact, and aiding and abetting while the search for Arriaga continued.

Bernabe Madrigal Castaneda, Ermasmo Villegas and Maria Luisa Moreno were arrested for aiding and abetting, as well as Arriaga’s brother Adrian Virgen and co-worker Erik Razo Quiroz.

Should ICE have been contacted about this suspect?

“We had them in custody and asked for their cooperation and they lied to us,” Christianson said of Virgen and Quiroz.

According to investigators, they believe the suspect’s handgun was located within the last 36 hours, though they declined to give details as to where it was recovered.

“We were never more than a step behind this guy,” Christianson said, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Christianson believes teamwork between law enforcement agencies is what led to the capture of the alleged shooter.

Singh’s suspected shooter was brought to the Stanislaus County Jail on Friday afternoon wearing Singh’s handcuffs, The Sacramento Bee reported.

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Singh’s family also credited interagency cooperation in a tear-filled media conference where his brother profusely thanked those who assisted in bringing Arriaga into custody.

Christianson noted that if law enforcement had previously been allowed to report the suspect to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, due to his criminal past, Singh might still be alive.

“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, according to Fox News.

“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,” Christianson added.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is not how you protect a community.”

 

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