By Rachel Wulff

NEWMAN (CBS13) — Hundreds paid their respects to Newman Police Corporal Ronil Singh, who was killed in the line of duty one year ago.

On Thursday, Cpl. Singh’s brother, Reggie, thanked hundreds at a candlelight vigil who came to remember the fallen hero.

Swipe through photos of the memorial below.
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One year ago, Singh left his wife and newborn son on Christmas to head into work. In the early morning hours of Dec. 26, he pulled over a vehicle on suspicion of DUI when the driver reportedly opened fire, killing Singh. The suspect then evaded officers and was eventually arrested in Kern County. Several other people were arrested for helping the suspect avoid police.

“I think the city is still healing,” said Theresa Brown a 25-year Newman resident.

Singh’s sacrifice and story touched many in the community. He moved to the United States from Fiji to pursue the American dream and become a police officer. Retired officer Matt Speckman worked with him at the Turlock Police Dept.

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“He came from Fiji. He had an infectious smile, and goals and dreams, and he did everything on his own,” Speckman said.

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Singh worked hard to improve his English and moved his way up in the ranks of law enforcement. He also became a K9 police officer. Members of the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office K9 team came to honor their brother Thursday night.

“You don’t ever forget about it. You don’t ever lose sight of the sacrifice that they made. You aren’t allowed to forget about it. It’s what gets you home at night,” Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Deputy Nathan Crain said.

After releasing balloons filled with blue lights, the group walked to the site where Singh was killed. There, his family was presented with a flag pole memorial. His widow and son presented flowers in a touching tribute.

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“It’s really important to see officers are human and they are people too. They have families that they have to come home to,” Dominique Sanchez said.

His family grateful but still grieving.

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“My brother we miss you, we love you so much. I know you’re looking down, I just want to let you know every day is not easy,” Reggie Singh said at the memorial.