Dec. 27 (UPI) -- The man accused of fatally shooting a Central California police officer was in the country illegally, law enforcement officials said Thursday amid a manhunt for the suspect.
Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said officials believe the suspect, whose name has not been revealed, is still in the county.
The suspect allegedly shot 33-year-old Newman police Cpl. Ronil "Ron" Singh during a traffic stop early Wednesday morning before fleeing. Police believe Singh also shot at the suspect but did not hit him.
"We will find him, we will arrest him and we will bring him to justice," Christianson said during a news conference.
The sheriff described the suspect as armed and dangerous. Surveillance images of the man show him to be heavyset with close-cut, dark hair. Witnesses saw a gray, extended-cab Dodge Ram pickup truck in the area at the time of the shooting.
Singh, originally from Fiji, was survived by his wife, a 5-month-old son, his parents and a brother.
His was the first death in the line of duty in the Newman Police Department.
"Please remember the man. Please remember the husband. Please remember what he was and what he came to this country to do," Newman police Chief Randy Richardson said.
"His five-month-old, he will never hear talk, he will never see walk; he will never get to hold that little boy; hug his wife ... because a coward took his life."