President Trump has spoken to the family and former colleagues of the Newman, California, police officer who was shot to death during a Dec. 26 traffic stop, allegedly by a man in the country illegally.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump called Cpl. Ronil Singh's wife, along with the local police chief and sheriff.
As The Washington Times reported, Trump “praised Officer Singh’s service to his fellow citizens, offered condolences, and commended law enforcement’s rapid investigation, response and apprehension of the suspect.”
The 33-year-old Singh was a native of Fiji and left behind his wife, Amanika “Mika” Chand-Singh, and 5-month-old son. The officer, who joined the force in the summer of 2011, legally emigrated to the U.S. to pursue his goal to become a police officer, Newman Police Chief Randy Richardson said.
The suspected shooter is a Mexican national accused of living in the U.S. illegally.
Perez Arriaga was arrested Friday after a days-long manhunt as he prepared to flee to Mexico, officials said. He has two previous drunken driving arrests, authorities said.
The calls come as the White House has been trying to highlight the dangers of illegal immigration and secure funding for Trump's proposed border wall. Trump is demanding billions of dollars to build it, but Democrats refuse to give him the money.
The impasse has caused a partial government shutdown that is now in its 13th day.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.