In a heart-wrenching news conference Thursday, Dec. 27, Newman Police Chief Randy Richardson shared the impact on his small department of the loss of Cpl. Ronil Singh in the early morning hours on the day after Christmas.
Through muffled tears, he described an agency where “everyone is family.”
“This is the man that I relieved on Christmas Day so he could spend time with his family and his newborn child. What needs to be known is that he was truly just a human being and an American patriot. Ron was not born in America. He was born in Fiji. He came to this country with just one purpose, and that was to serve this country.”
Singh and his K9 partner, Sam, were on patrol when he was called to stop a possible DUI motorist. Shortly afterward, there was a call of “shots fired.” Responding officers found Singh wounded and evidence of a fire fight and shell casings strewn about. The suspect had fled the scene. Sam was in the back of the patrol vehicle.
Singh was transported to a local hospital, where he died. There was a massive response from local agencies including the Oakdale Police Department and the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department. The sheriff’s department is leading the criminal investigation and the hunt for the suspect. Outside agencies are assisting with patrol duties for the small agency as they grieve the loss of their comrade.
The suspect’s vehicle was recovered from a mobile home park near the city of Newman and about 4.5 miles from the scene of the shooting. Video surveillance footage of the suspected shooter showed a heavy-set male Hispanic, with a buzz cut. Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson declined to name the suspect, explaining he did not want to release a name until the agency was certain of the suspect’s identity.
During the news conference, Chief Richardson was asked what would happen to K9 Officer Sam. He replied Sam was back at home.
“I will not take another family member from them,” Richardson said.
Sheriff Christianson said the agency had reason to believe the suspect was still in the area and considered him “armed and dangerous.”
Cpl. Singh is the second officer to die over the holidays. On Christmas Eve, Louisville Det. Deidre Mengedoht was killed while at the scene of a traffic accident. An impaired driver in a semi-truck struck her vehicle, trapping her inside as it burst into flames. Detective Deidre was 33 and is survived by a young son.
Joe is a retired police captain. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org