A portion of California highway now bears the name of Ronil Singh, a 33-year-old police officer of Indian-origin who lost his life when an illegal immigrant shot him in 2018.
During a ceremony held last Saturday, a section of Highway 33 in Newman, California was named as Corporal Ronil Singh Memorial Highway. A signage was put up at the intersection of Highway 33 and Stuhr Road during the commemoration ceremony.
Today the community came together to honor the memory of Cpl. Ronil Singh, who was tragically killed in the line of duty in December 2018. The memorial highway sign was unveiled today and will be displayed on Highway 33 and Stuhr Road. pic.twitter.com/b4cNgZekRg— Assemblyman Juan Alanis (@JuanAlanisCA) September 2, 2023
Ronil Singh was from Fiji and became a police officer at the Newman Police Department in July 2011. His life was cut short when a suspected drunk driver shot him fatally on December 26, 2018.
After a three-day manhunt, Paulo Virgen Mendoza, was arrested from Kern County. He pled guilty to Singh’s murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole in November 2020.
Ahead of the unveiling of the memorial sign, members of the community organised a Tunnel to Towers 5K walk and run in Corporal Ronil Singh’s memory.
Singh’s widow Anamika, their son, Arnav, who was only 5 months old when his father died were present at the event. Other family members and colleagues from the Newman Police Department were also present.
Noted dignitaries like the County Supervisor Chance Condit, State Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil, US Representative John Duarte and Assemblyman Juan Alanis were also present.
Behind the memorial signage there are messages of love and remembrance. A message from Ronil’s son Arnav read: “Love you Papa!”
“Today the community came together to honour the memory of Cpl. Ronil Singh, who was tragically killed in the line of duty in December 2018. The memorial highway sign was unveiled today and will be displayed on Highway 33 and Stuhr Road,” Assemblyman Alanis posted on social media site X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Today, #Caltrans joined the community members, friends and family of Cpl. Ronil Singh to dedicate a highway memorial in his name on State Route 33 through the @cityofNewman,” the California Department of Transportation also posted on X.
The Assembly Transportation Committee in September 2019 passed a resolution for the Corporal Ronil Singh Memorial Highway in western Stanislaus and Merced counties but the work on naming a stretch of Highway 33 near Newman in honour of Singh was stalled.
Former US President Donald Trump also described Singh as a “national hero” and spoke to family members following his death.