Ryan Clinkunbroomer was a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy who was shot and killed in an ambush while sitting in his squad car at a red light.
“I want to let to our community know Deputy Clinkunbroomer left his family tonight to serve our community. He laid everything on the line to serve us,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna wrote on X on the evening of September 16, 2023. “He wore a uniform just like other @LASDHQ deputies wear, driving in a police car, and he was senselessly murdered tonight.”
The suspect been identified as Kevin Salazar, although the motive remains unclear, the sheriff said.
In a news conference, Luna said, “It hasn’t been a good evening.” He released Clinkunbrooker’s name and said investigators believe it was a “targeted act.” Investigators don’t yet know whether the specific deputy was targeted or whether he was targeted because he represented law enforcement, said Luna, who added that everything is “on the table.”
The 30-year-old deputy was just engaged four days ago, said Luna, and he was from a third-generation law enforcement family.
The suspect or suspects are at large.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. A Surveillance Video Shows the Black Suspect Vehicle Pulling Alongside the Cruiser of Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer
Surveillance video from the Sheriff’s station shows the ambush.
A black vehicle pulls alongside Clinkunbroomer’s cruiser as it is stopped in the road at a red light.
The video then shows the car pull away. Clinkunbroomer’s vehicle rolls forward a short ways and then stops, and the black vehicle drives off.
Clinkunbroomer had just left the station, but it wasn’t clear yet where he was going, according to Luna.
“He was just driving down the street,” he said, adding that the shooting occurred “for no apparent reason. I am assuming at this point because he was in uniform. That to me is sickening.”
2. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Wrote That Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer Was ‘Shot in His Patrol Car’
At first, the Los Angeles County Sheriff tweeted, “At approximately 6pm an LASD Palmdale Deputy was found in medical distress in front of Palmdale Sheriff Station. Deputy has been transported to a local hospital. More information to follow.”
In an updated post, the department wrote, “Deputy was shot in his patrol car. Transported to a local hospital, and is in critical condition.” He was driving in his car while on duty, and it “appears he was fired upon,” said Luna.
The deputy died at the hospital, according to Luna.
At 6 p.m., the deputy was on duty, in uniform, and working in a patrol car from the Palmdale Sheriff’s station, the sheriff said. He said a good Samaritan found the deputy unconscious in his vehicle near the intersection. The good Samaritan immediately reported it to the station, and Clinkunbroomer was taken to the hospital, Luna said.
Homicide investigators are investigating the “murder of our deputy,” added Luna.
3. The Sheriff Says It’s Unclear Whether There Are Multiple Suspects, Calling The Murder of the Field Training Officer an Ambush
Luna said authorities need the public’s help to find the suspect. “We really need your help,” said Luna. “He ambushed and killed, murdered, one of our deputies.”
He said it’s not clear whether there is a single suspect or multiple suspects.
According to Luna, the deputy was 30-years-old. He served the community “with absolute distinction.” He transferred to Palmdale station in 2018, and he was a field training officer, said Luna.
He added that usually the “best of the best” become field training officers.
“He didn’t deserve this,” said Luna.
4. Ryan Clinkunbroomer’s Father & Grandfather Also Served in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
“People absolutely loved and adored him,” Luna said of Clinkunbroomer.
Clinkunbroomer was third generation. His father and grandfather served with us. Service was running through his veins,” said Luna.
“He embodied the values of bravery, selflessness, and an absolute commitment to justice,” said Luna, adding that he was “cowardly shot.”
“We are going to catch this person who did this,” said Luna, adding that “just about everybody worked with his father.”
On Facebook, Clinkunbroomer shared photos with family and friends, and a Sheriff’s Department badge with a black line through it.
5. Ryan Clinkunbroomer Was Remembered as an ‘Awesome’ & ‘Great Person’
Tributes flowed for Clinkunbroomer. “Clink… you were a great person, always good to me,” wrote one man on Facebook.
Another man wrote, “Absolutely horrible news to find out this morning. Ryan Clinkunbroomer was an awesome person and will be missed by many. We had a lot of good memories anytime we were together. Such an unneccessary loss of life. RIP.”
The Palmdale Sheriff’s Station wrote on Facebook, “Words cannot express the shock, sadness and anger over this senseless loss of an exemplary deputy and an even better human being. Deputy Clinkunbroomer strived for excellence in everything he did. He was very thorough in his investigations, genuinely cared for the community he served, and he was always willing to help out his partners any time they needed it. We are numb with grief and are grasping to come to terms with the fact that he has left a very big void within our station family.”
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