NEWMAN, Ca. – The suspect that shot and killed 33-year-old Officer Ronil Singh this week has not yet been apprehended, but police have concluded that he was in the country illegally.

Authorities have not released the suspect’s name, but Sheriff Adam Christianson reported that he has been identified and is reportedly an undocumented immigrant.

“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. “He doesn’t belong here. He’s a criminal.”

The Newman, California officer pulled the suspect over during a suspected DUI traffic stop on Wednesday morning at the corner of Merced Street and Eucalyptus Avenue in Newman.

Not long after Singh radioed in the stop, he signaled for backup, yelling the words that every officer hopes they never hear while they work their shift.

“Shots fired!”

“It was a gunfight,” said Christianson, who described Officer Singh as having defended himself.

Officers showed up to the scene shortly after the call, finding Singh shot and needing immediate medical attention. He was transported to the hospital, but despite their best efforts, he succumbed to his injuries.

Christianson says that police have reason to believe the suspect is still in the area. He was reported as fleeing the scene in a gray, extended cab Dodge Ram pickup truck.

The truck was recovered shortly after the shooting, but there has been no sign of the suspected killer.

Anyone with information is being asked to come forward to authorities.

Newman Police Chief Randy Richardson had nothing but great words to say as the department remembers Officer Singh.

“This is a man that I saw every day he worked. This is a man that I relieved on Christmas Day so he could go home and spend time with his family and his newborn child,” he said. “I think that what’s being lost here is yes, he was a police officer and that’s why all of you are packed in this room – because he was tragically taken from us. But what needs to be known is he was truly just a human being and an American patriot.”

Anyone with information about the suspect or his whereabouts is urged to call the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department at 209-525-7202.