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Suspect arrested in killing of LA County sheriff's deputy in Palmdale

Richard Winton, Nathan Solis and Grace Toohey, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

The surveillance video that captured the killing shows 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.

A passerby found the deputy unconscious in his vehicle at Avenue Q and Sierra Highway around 6 p.m., officials said. Fellow deputies took him to Antelope Valley Medical Center in Lancaster, and he died as physicians attempted to treat his gunshot wound.

Clinkunbroomer was 30 years old.


“Ryan’s family will never see him again,” Luna said Monday, visibly choking up as he spoke. Clinkunbroomer was a third-generation sheriff’s deputy who had recently gotten engaged.

Dozens gathered at the Palmdale station Monday morning in front of a makeshift memorial for the slain deputy. Law enforcement wore black bands over their badges and civilians wore blue ribbons on their shirts and lapels.

“Our son Ryan was a dedicated and hardworking deputy sheriff who enjoyed working here at the Palmdale station,” the deputy’s family said in a statement. “He was proud to work along the side of his partners that he considered brothers and sisters as he sacrificed daily to better the community that he served. Ryan made the ultimate sacrifice in doing so.”

No motive for the killing has been revealed. Salazar was described according to a sheriff’s call code as suffering from diminished mental capacity, according to two law enforcement sources.


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