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Suspect in Newman Police Corporal Killing Case Receives Life Sentence

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MODESTO – Paulo Virgen Mendoza, also known as Gustavo Perez Arriaga, pleaded guilty Thursday to the shooting death of Newman Police Corporal Ronil Singh.

Mendoza was captured after the December 26th, 2018 shooting of Corporal Singh and fleeing south. A relentless search by authorities led to his arrest three days later at a home near Bakersfield. Three other people were arrested in the case for aiding Mendoza. Authorities said he had entered the country illegally, and had two prior DUI arrests in the Madera/Chowchilla area.

The Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office said Mendoza entered the guilty plea, admitting to three special circumstances. Those circumstances included committing the murder in an attempt to evade arrest, killing a police officer in the performance of his duties, and discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle with the intent to inflict death.

Mendoza also admitted to acting intentionally, deliberately and with premeditation, as well as intentionally discharging a firearm causing death. Both were enhancements to his charges.

As part of his plea deal, Mendoza waived his right to appeal the decision. In exchange, the District Attorney’s Office agreed to stop seeking the death penalty. Mendoza agreed to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

Mendoza was sentenced by Judge Ricardo Cordova and remanded for transportation to state prison.

Corporal Singh left behind a wife and infant son of five months at the time of the shooting.

“He came to America to become a police officer,” said Newman Police Chief Randy Richardson during a press conference on December 27th, 2018.

“You have to understand, this was not supposed to happen here.”

Corporal Singh, a K-9 officer with his partner Sam, was a native of Fiji and was deeply loved and respected by his peers and community.

“Please remember the man, please remember what he came to this country to do,” said Richardson. “Yes he was a police officer, but more importantly he was a human being.”

Click below to view original video from the case.

Carlos Rodriguez is an Emmy Award winning photojournalist specializing in public safety and natural disasters. His passion for local news stems from a deep commitment to his community, with a selfless mission to inform the citizens of the valley. As he worked on assignment for 19 days at the devastating Camp Fire in Paradise, California, he spent most of his time helping survivors contact their loved ones to let them know they were ok. Carlos is a veteran of Univision, FOX, and Telemundo TV stations and a native of Modesto, California.

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Police Investigate Reported Shooting

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MODESTO – Police responded to a report of a person shot Thursday near a busy intersection.

Shortly before noon officers were called to a report of a shooting near the intersection of McHenry and Orangeburg Avenues.

Early reports indicate one person was found injured near a bus stop. Arriving first responders attempted life saving measures.

The parking lot of the Pep Boys/Advance Auto Parts was closed off as a crime scene along with Orangeburg Avenue east of McHenry Avenue. By 12:30, investigators were arriving on scene.

One person may have been detained, a second person may have ran to a hospital for care. Stay tuned for further details.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Modesto Police or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Shooting Investigated in South Modesto

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MODESTO – Emergency personnel responded to a report of a person shot Saturday night near Imperial Avenue.

Shortly before 10:00pm emergency personnel responded to the 100 block of Imperial Avenue for a report of a person shot. Arriving deputies located one person who was shot in a pathway between Imperial and Glenn. Fire and medical crews also responded to the scene.

There was no confirmed suspect information available at time of publication, but it was believed the person responsible fled the area on foot.

The area was taped off by deputies.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Shooting Investigated on Pacific Avenue

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STOCKTON – Officers with the Stockton Police Department investigated a report of a person shot late Thursday morning near Sherwood Mall.

The shooting happened at about 10:45am in the mall’s parking lot. Early reports indicate at least one person was struck by gunfire. The area was taped off and surrounding roadways were closed to traffic.

An alert from San Joaquin Delta College read as follows:

“Mustang Alert!: Police Activity at Mall – Shooting across from Stockton campus at the mall. Suspects fled away from campus. Delta is safe. Avoid Pacific Avenue.”

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Stockton Police Department at (209) 937-8377 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600 where callers can remain anonymous.

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