Ryan Clinkunbroomer, a deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, was killed Saturday in an ambush outside the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station. An unidentified person of interest in the homicide case has been arrested, the department confirmed around 6:15 a.m. Monday. A department press conference is scheduled for 10:30 a.m.
The Sheriff’s Department said Deputy Clinkunbroomer had just left the Palmdale station and was sitting at a red light at the intersection of Sierra Highway and E. Avenue Q just before 6 p.m. when he was found slumped over the wheel of his patrol vehicle by a good Samaritan. .
“He was in uniform, sitting in a marked black and white Los Angeles County sheriff’s vehicle, waiting for a red light,” Sheriff Robert Luna said. “Our deputy never even had a chance.”
The victim was identified as Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, who was rushed to Antelope Valley Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries. He was 30 years old.
No information was provided on the shooter or a possible motive.
“We are going to arrest the person who did this,” the sheriff said at a news conference Saturday evening. “Every resource available to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is coming after you.”
Investigators are analyzing video that shows a sedan slowly pulling up behind an LASD vehicle around the time the shooting occurred before speeding away, Luna said.
At a news conference Sunday, the sheriff said the vehicle of interest was a dark gray 2006-2012 Toyota Corolla.
“We really need your help. We need to get this guy off the street,” Luna said. “He ambushed and killed – murdered – one of our deputies. We need your help to get him off the streets.”
The sheriff further noted that Clinkunbroomer had spent approximately eight years with the department and was transferred to the Palmdale station in July 2018. He had been serving as a field training officer for nearly two years, Luna said .
“Not just anyone becomes a field training officer,” Luna said. “It’s usually the best of the best.”
Clinkunbroomer was a third-generation LASD member, behind his father and grandfather.
“Service was in his blood,” the sheriff said.
He had just gotten engaged to his girlfriend four days ago, the sheriff said. Clinkunbroomer leaves behind his fiancée, his parents and his grandparents.
“He didn’t deserve this,” Luna said emotionally. “It’s so unfair. We’re hurting because we lost someone. It hurts a lot. It sucks, to put it bluntly. Our thoughts are absolutely with his family.”
Sheriff Luna has not released details about the investigation because it is in its early stages. He says as soon as new information comes to light, the public will be alerted.
In a procession early Sunday morning, hundreds of law enforcement officers escorted Clinkunbroomer’s body to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.
Much of the street outside the station was surrounded by crime scene tape. An LASD vehicle was also recorded outside the hospital where the deputy was taken after he was discovered in the patrol car.
“Someone saw something. Someone knows something,” Luna said. “There is a family here in this hospital grieving an unimaginable loss. We need your help.”
Politicians, law enforcement officials and community leaders have turned to social media tothroughout the day Sunday, and flags at the State Capitol and Capitol Annex Swing Space were flown at half-staff.
At Sunday’s press conference, County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said she would seek $100,000 for a reward to locate the suspect or suspect involved, which Palmdale Mayor Laura Bettencourt said declared that the city would match. Richard Pippin, president of the Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs’ Association, also pledged an additional $50,000.
Clinkunbroomer was honored in front of the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station Sunday evening at 7 p.m. with a candlelight vigil.
Anyone with information or who may have witnessed the incident is asked to contact homicide investigators at (323) 890-5500.