Published: Mon, December 31, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

Suspected illegal immigrant accused of killing California officer arrested

Suspected illegal immigrant accused of killing California officer arrested

The shooting death of a California police officer has reignited the debate over sanctuary laws, with a sheriff all but blaming the statewide immigration policy for the killing as he announced the arrest of a man living in the US illegally.

The suspect was arrested at a residence in the Lamont Area of Kern County. The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department was scheduled to hold a press conference at noon, .

Arriaga was eventually captured near Bakersfield, California, almost 200 miles south of where the initial murder took place.

Cpl. Ronal Singh, who emigrated from his native Fiji, was shot about 1 a.m. Wednesday after stopping a suspected drunken driver in Newman, southeast of San Francisco in the San Joaquin Valley.

Mr Singh was born in Fiji but migrated to the USA to become a police officer.

The sheriff leading the investigation blamed California's sanctuary law for preventing local authorities from reporting Gustavo Perez Arriaga to US immigration officials for two previous drunken driving arrests.

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The sheriff's department has identified the suspect but not named him.

President Donald Trump echoed Christianson's statements late last week, Tweeting, "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", he tweeted Thursday". Singh had a newborn son and joined the 12-officer Newman police force in 2011.

This is a developing story.

Host Martha Raddatz took issue with Jeffries' dodging her question about Singh's death, but he maintained that his lack of familiarity with California statutes prevents him from responding to Christianson's assessment.

As of Saturday, eight total suspects have been arrested in connection to Singh's death, including Arriaga's girlfriend and brother. Virgen and Quiroz were allegedly helping Arriaga, who was trying to flee to Mexico.

"This suspect is in our country illegally, he doesn't belong here, he is a criminal", Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson told reporters.

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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.

"We had them in custody and asked for their cooperation and they lied to us", Christianson said. The 33-year-old had gang affiliations and multiple Facebook pages with different names, Christianson said.

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.

President Trump has cited the killing as a justification for his proposed wall on the border with Mexico.

"This is new for our department", Richardson said.

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