California authorities launched a manhunt early Wednesday for a man suspected of killing a police officer during a traffic stop.
Officer Ronil Singh, 33, pulled over the suspect just before 1 a.m. in a mostly residential part of Newman, a city of 11,000 located about 70 miles east of San Jose.
“A few moments later he called out ‘shots fired’ over the radio,” according to a news release from the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, which is leading the investigation. “Multiple agencies responded to assist, and Singh was found at the scene with gunshot wounds.”
Singh was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
The suspect — who surveillance images show is a heavyset man with dark, closely cropped hair — took off in a gray, extended-cab Dodge Ram pickup, police said. In photos provided by police, he is wearing a zip-up hoodie and a thick chain around his neck.
The truck had a hood scoop and a paper plate that says “AR Auto,” according to CNN affiliate KOVR.
Singh, a Fiji native, had been with the Newman Police Department since July 2011.
“Our Newman police family is devastated by the loss of Ronil,” Police Chief Randy Richardson said, urging anyone with useful information to help investigators “get this cop killer off the streets.”
The California Highway Patrol issued a blue alert, initiated after acts of violence against law enforcement, for Stanislaus, Merced, San Joaquin, Tuolumne and Santa Clara counties, CNN affiliate KCRA reported.