NEWMAN, Calif. — Chris Johnson was used to seeing Cpl. Ronil Singh stop by to have his own car or his squad car repaired.

"You hear people talk about his smile and his sense of humor. Every time he came to the shop he would have a funny joke or he got a funny call or something like that," said Johnson, a mechanic who has worked at Newman Smog & Lube for 15 years.

The shop rests on Highway 33, just past the Newman welcome sign.

In this small, Westside Central Valley town, population over 10,000, everyone seems to know everyone in one way or another.

Cpl. Ronil Singh was no exception.

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When you talk to folks here, Singh seemed to make friends wherever he went.

"He (was) a nice officer to us and everybody," said Harbans "Tony" Singh, who is not a relative of the Corporal. Harbans Singh is the owner of the City Market off Highway 33 in Newman. "Always tried to help everyone."

Harbans Singh said the young officer even gave him his personal cell number, in case he ever needed help.

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At the heart of the City's downtown — at the corner of Fresno and Main Streets — blue ribbons adorn light posts and trees in honor and memory of Cpl. Singh.

The Stanislaus County Sheriffs Department says they are the work of the Blue Line Wives, a group that provides support and resources to law enforcement and their families.

At "unique by design" hair salon downtown, Leslie Ledesma was in the middle of styling a customer's hair.

She said her 11-year-old-son remembered it was Cpl. Singh who gave her son a friendly wave just days ago.

"Everyone in town is mourning because (Singh) was a great officer for our community," said Ledesma, adding that the shooter, "Interfered with God's plan."


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