A man suspected of fatally shooting a California police officer on Wednesday is in the United States illegally, a sheriff says.

The Associated Press reports that Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson told reporters on Thursday that his deputies have identified a suspect in the shooting of Cpl. Ronil Singh, 33, but are not yet releasing his identity. The unnamed man is suspected of being in the U.S. illegally, though the department gave no other details about his immigration status.

"This suspect, unlike Ron — who immigrated to this country lawfully and legally to pursue his lifelong career of public safety, public service and being a police officer — this suspect is in our country illegally," Christianson said at a press conference. "He doesn't belong here. He's a criminal."


President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to move ahead with billion UAE weapons sale approved by Trump Fox News hires high-profile defense team in Dominion defamation lawsuit Associate indicted in Gaetz scandal cooperating with DOJ: report MORE on Thursday weighed in on the case in a tweet.

"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," the president tweeted in the afternoon. "Time to get tough on Border Security. Build the Wall!" 


The shooting occurred Wednesday after Singh, a member of the Newman Police Department, reportedly pulled the suspect over for a traffic stop as part of a DUI investigation. The two exchanged gunfire at the scene. Police later found the suspect's truck abandoned and say the suspect remains at large.

A native of Fiji, Singh reportedly joined the police in 2011 and is survived by his wife and infant son. Law enforcement agencies across California and other states are reportedly actively searching for his suspected killer.

Newman Police Chief Randy Richardson implored the public to join the search and provide any information related to the crime that could aid in the suspect's capture.

“Our Newman Police family is devastated by the loss of Ronil,” he said at Thursday's press conference. “If anyone has any information regarding the identity of the suspect, please contact law enforcement immediately so we can get this cop-killer off the streets.”

Updated Friday at 7:20 a.m.