NEWMAN (CBS13) — How do you begin to say goodbye to a young officer killed in the line of duty? Well, it starts with several neighbors volunteering to assemble and distribute hundreds of flags.
The volunteers are all doing it for Newman police officer corporal Ronil Singh. He was shot and killed during a traffic stop – hours after celebrating Christmas with family.
“I think it’s pretty heavy. It’s really sad that something like this so tragic can happen in a small community like this. Sometimes you think you’re immune to this type of violence,” said volunteer Jody Bremmer.
Singh is the first officer killed in Newman’s history. His accused killer, Gustavo Arriaga, is in custody awaiting further arraignment on murder charges next month. Seven other suspects are also facing charges for helping Arriaga hide from police.
“I just want to show support for our community for Corpl. Singh, our police force. Let them know that we care,” Bremmer said.
Singh, a native of Fiji, joined the Newman Police Department in 2011. He worked primarily in narcotics as a K9 officer. Those who knew him said he was truly doing what he loved. Now they are showing support for his dedication.
“To support the family, and to honor him and just appreciate what he’s done for this community in the very small way that we can do that,” said Lucie Lucas who lives in Newman.
The flags are proudly displayed at businesses and at homes. Ribbons have also been wrapped around trees to show support for the men and women in blue who have already lost so much.
“To remember all the first responders that put their lives out for us every single day,” she said.
Officer Singh’s body was back to Newman Friday morning with a procession from Highway 33 through downtown.
The funeral service was held for Singh on Saturday.