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Newman Food's clerk gives vivid description of suspect's behavior before fatal shooting

The clerk tells ABC10 the shooting suspect displayed bizzare behavior prior to his encounter with Corporal Ronil Singh.

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NEWMAN, Calif. — It was business as usual for Suzie Martinez on Christmas night. She was working her normal late night clerk shift at Newman Foods when a familiar face walked in.

“He bought beer. I try to keep it short with him," Martinez said. "Then he just took off.”

Little did Martinez know, the man she just assisted at the counter was minutes away from allegedly shooting and killing Newman Police Corporal Ronil Singh. According to investigators, the shooting happened during a traffic stop right down the street from the store.

RELATED: Newman manhunt: Tip leads detectives to suspect vehicle outside Newman
Martinez said the man was acting bizarre while he was in the store. 

“The last time he was here, he was drunk so I didn’t sell him alcohol," Martinez said, adding that she was suspicious of him. "And he was sort of upset about that, but he understood that it’s the law and I can’t sell alcohol if you’re under the influence.”

A friend was with Martinez when the suspect entered, and she said the suspect had an interesting reaction to him. 

"As he came in, he looked at him like 'Oh are you with her' in an attitude kind of way...and he looked at him sideways," Martinez said. "I proceeded to help him out and then he left. My friend went outside and said that Officer Singh just followed him. When he said that, we both came out and the shots had already been fired...I blanked out.”

It's a night that Martinez will never forget.

“We’ve had incidents here before, but this was something else because now we had an officer involved in the shooting," Martinez said. 

Authorities are going off of surveillance photos taken at a convenience store shortly before the shooting. The suspect is heavyset, with short dark hair. He was last seen wearing a chain necklace, jeans, a dark hoodie and a dark-colored T-shirt. 

Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department added a new photo.

Anyone with information, like the name or whereabouts of the suspect, is asked to contact Detective Michael Fisher at 209-525-7083 or at 209-552-2468.

Continue the conversation with Kevin John on Facebook.

RELATED: Newman community mourns slain Cpl. Ronil Singh

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