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Person of interest detained in ambush killing of LA County sheriff's deputy in Palmdale

Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

LOS ANGELES — A person of interest has been detained in the ambush killing of a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who was shot in the head near the Palmdale station Saturday night, officials said Monday morning.

Few details have been released, but law enforcement sources told The Times authorities launched a massive manhunt after the brazen killing, leading to an East Palmdale neighborhood. Heavily armed deputies in tactical gear took a man into custody during the overnight operation, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

Sheriff Robert Luna was expected to provide more details at a news conference scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Monday.

The Saturday killing had been captured on surveillance video, which was shared with The Times.

The video shows Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer steering his patrol cruiser onto Sierra Highway and stopping at a red light outside the Palmdale sheriff's station north of Los Angeles. Clinkunbroomer was in uniform and on duty.

Seconds later, a dark gray Toyota Corolla can be seen pulling up behind the marked black-and-white cruiser and pausing.


The sedan then pulls alongside the driver's side of the cruiser, pauses again, then speeds off. Clinkunbroomer's vehicle drifts a foot or two.

In those seconds, authorities said, the deputy was shot in the head. He died from his injuries hours later. Clinkunbroomer was 30 years old.

Investigators worked through the night and all day Sunday reviewing evidence, including surveillance footage, and interviewing potential witnesses. Law enforcement officials at the local, state and federal levels had offered assistance. On Sunday, they cited the Corolla, manufactured between 2006 and 2012, as a "vehicle of interest."

The person was detained after the vehicle description circulated and authorities received a tip, two law enforcement sources told The Times on condition of anonymity Monday.


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