A suspected illegal immigrant accused of shooting to death a California police officer was arrested on Friday after a two-day manhunt that President Donald Trump cited in his push for building a wall on the border with Mexico, officials said, Reuters reported.
Gustavo Perez Arriaga, 32, a Mexican national, was arrested in Bakersfield, a city less than 200 miles (320 km) south of Newman where the officer was shot on Wednesday, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said at a news conference.
The shooting and manhunt in California’s agricultural Central Valley entered the national debate over immigration, after Trump tweeted about it in his advocacy for a border wall and Christianson criticized California’s sanctuary law for immigrants.
Arriaga is accused of shooting to death Newman police corporal Sonil Singh after Singh pulled him over on suspicion of driving under the influence. The suspect, who exchanged fire with Singh, has claimed to be involved with a criminal gang called the Sureños and was trying to escape to Mexico, Christianson said.
On Friday, heavily armed police officers surrounded the Bakersfield home where they believed Arriaga was hiding and he walked out with his hands up, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood told reporters. It was not immediately clear if Arriaga, who was transported in Singh’s handcuffs from Bakersfield to Stanislaus County, had an attorney. He was expected to be formally charged next week.
Christianson said the case highlighted the dangers of a California law passed in 2017 that placed limits on how closely law enforcement can cooperate with federal agents seeking to deport illegal immigrants arrested for crimes.
Christianson had initially given Arriaga’s age as 33, but authorities later said he was 32. Arriaga, a farm laborer who had been in the United States for a number of years after illegally crossing the border into Arizona, had prior arrests for driving under the influence, Christianson said.