The suspect in the fatal shooting of Newman Police Department officer Ronil Singh was arrested in the Lamont area Friday morning, along with three people accused of aiding and abetting him, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said at a press conference.

The suspect, Gustavo Perez Arriaga, 32, was headed for Mexico at the time of his arrest, law enforcement officers believe, and was allegedly helped by multiple people.

Arriaga surrendered “with his hands up” as a Kern County SWAT unit was in the process of surrounding a residence at the 8200 block of Brooks Lane, Youngblood said.

Three other people at the residence, Bernabe Madrigal Castaneda, 59, Erasmo Villegas, 36, and Maria Luisa Moreno, 57, all from Bakersfield, according to the Sheriff’s Office, were also arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting the suspect.

Law enforcement officials believe Arriaga had additional help getting to Kern County from Stanislaus County, where the crime took place.

In a separate press conference Friday, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office revealed that Arraiga’s brother and a co-worker had also been arrested on suspicion of misleading investigators.

“No stone will be unturned for anyone we have information on that helped this suspect try and elude capture,” Youngblood said. “We will go after them.”

After taking him into custody, Kern County law enforcement interviewed Arriaga briefly before transferring him to Stanislaus County in the handcuffs used by Singh, the officer he is accused of killing.

“We’ve been through this before and we know how hard it is,” Youngblood said. “The (police) chief of Newman, the sheriff of Stanislaus and I assured the family during this search that we would find this cop killer. And we did.”

Officer Singh was flagged down by a citizen on Wednesday regarding an intoxicated man in a silver pickup driving in Newman, a Sheriff’s Office report said.

The officer attempted to stop the vehicle. Moments later Singh radioed in that shots had been fired and he had been hit, according to the report.

He was taken to a hospital in Turlock where he was pronounced dead, the report said.

The suspect escaped the scene, and a manhunt ensued that captured the attention of the nation, including President Donald Trump. The media attention escalated after Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson announced that Arriaga was in the United States illegally.

“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. Time to get tough on Border Security. Build the Wall!” Trump tweeted Thursday.

That same day Youngblood received a call from Christianson, he said, in which the Stanislaus sheriff told him Arriaga was either in Kern County already or on his way.

The Sheriff’s Office posted surveillance units at residences in Buttonwillow, Lamont and the Kings County town of Hanford before obtaining a search warrant for the Lamont residence.

The arrest took place at 8:45 a.m., according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Singh was one of 12 officers in the Newman Police Department. He died at the age of 33 after immigrating from Fiji. He joined the police force in 2011. He was married with a five-month-old son.

Youngblood appeared emotional at one point in the press conference.

“We’re committed to providing public safety,” he said. “When you use a firearm against a police officer, you can run but you can’t hide.”

He also used the opportunity to criticize the sanctuary city law taken up by many cities and counties in California, reminding the public that he advocated against the county becoming a sanctuary county.

"When you tie our hands and don’t allow us to work with our federal partners and communicate with our federal partners about people who commit crimes and are in this country illegally, we’re going to have incidents like this," he said. "Not just on police officers, but on the public that we serve and protect."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

You can reach Sam Morgen at 661-395-7415 or You may also follow him on Twitter @smorgenTBC.

(19) comments


to bad he didnt shoot Pelosi


Time to close the southern border, most of the people that cross are poor and illiterate and take instead of give to the country. Next stop for the US is to be an extension of all the worthless S. American countries. Take a look at Venezuela and see how the government has run the country into a cesspool. Take a look at the US with a $23 trillion deficit. This country has no money for its legal citizens much less all the illegals.


Stephen, Dems are out of touch regarding the immigration problem and you just confirmed it. Trump can cut taxes and bring back factories and business to USA and libs in CA riot


Instead of accusing me of being "disrespectful" to officer Ronil Singh who lost his life to this tu*d, ask congressional Republicans why they continue to oppose overhauling our dysfunctional and obsolete immigration laws. Ask them why they think rather than focus on 21st century solutions to solve 21st century problems they can't get over their love of a 3rd solution with its over a millennia long history of not working. Ask them how most drugs get into the US. Ask them how they know that fat bast**d got into the US in the first place.

Democrats have been trying to get real immigration reform legislation considered for years only to be blocked by intransigent Republicans more concerned about making sure Obama or anyone other than right wingers including the freedom (from responsibility) caucus never got a "win" or citing other fiction based nonsense as they try to rule by legislative extortion.

As far as that POS who shot the officer I am having thoughts about some long abandoned deep mine shafts in the Mojave Desert as an appropriate destination for them.


Legal immigration. Help me understand mindset of those who don’t want to strengthen that position.


Not defending so-called "sanctuary' districts I was confused by the statements by some law enforcement types using the murder of a police officer by this fat scumbag as having something to do with sanctuary cities or states and how such a status might but apparently didn't have anything to do with him running around here loose. Can the police's hatred of those laws result in exaggeration of their impact or "over compliance" to prove their point?


Stephen if this animal was not here in the USA he would not have killed this police officer. I just do not understand people like you that continually defend sanctuary policies that continue to increase crime. That is no exaggeration. I think you are being very disrespectful to the family of this police officer when you write something like that to defend your liberal politics.


"exaggeration"? Stephen, tell that to officer Ronil Singh's family. What part of "illegal" does not register with you. He should have been turned over to ICE on his first DUI or 2nd DUI. Certainly this Sureño wants to be handed over to ICE now and be sent back to where he came from...after killing a migrant who did everything right and was contributing to society in a positive way.


Well stated, Vico. We indeed are seeing the fruits of the idiotic sanctuary laws in the liberal areas of California. The chickens certainly coming home to roost.


Kern County slipping. They used to shoot the bad guys.


Too bad Arriaga was such a p)u)$$)y) in the face of a fully defensive SWAT team, and came out with his hands up. Also too bad one of those cops didn't "see him reach for a weapon" and blow his illegal but t away.


14 paragraphs down it mentions the police killer as “illegal immigrant”. Liberal newspaper ? What a shame


He is a illegal. A murderer too. Liberals support illegals. You are on the wrong page there.

Comment deleted.

You're every bit as disgusting as a bad cop.


" . . . the man was in the country illegally. "
"A traffic stop . . . "?
No 'race or brutality' . . . ?
The " NEW NORMAL" . . . ?
And actually endorsed and encouraged by some . . . in the larger surrounds of our Bakersfield Community . . . ?
Wonder if "aiding and abetting" . . uh . . .well . . .you know . . . !
Semper Fortis . . . !

Ray Riley

Sanctuary state...thanks former Governor Brown.

Johnny Kaye

Lock this dude in a cell with Jerry Brown and Nancy Poloci and toss the key into the Kern River after shredding it.


thats right along with newsom


Yes. And his replacement, that freak Gavin Newsom is going to be worse. Goodbye, California.

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