Arrest Made in Ambush Killing of LA County Deputy

Police say suspect in Ryan Clinkunbroomer shooting barricaded himself in home
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 17, 2023 8:00 AM CDT
Updated Sep 18, 2023 1:22 PM CDT
Sheriff's Deputy Fatally Shot in Patrol Car in California
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna attends a vigil for Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer at the Palmdale Sheriff's Station, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023.   (Sarah Reingewirtz/The Orange County Register via AP)
UPDATE Sep 18, 2023 1:22 PM CDT

A 29-year-old man was arrested early Monday in the ambush killing of a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who was shot as he sat in a patrol car, authorities said. The suspect barricaded himself a home in the city of Palmdale, but later surrendered, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna told a news conference. Luna said authorities have not yet determined a motive for the killing, the AP reports. The suspect was taken into custody around 5am, reports KTLA. Hundreds at a vigil Sunday mourned Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, 30. The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, the deputies' union, said Clinkunbroomer became engaged to be married four days before he was killed.

Sep 17, 2023 8:00 AM CDT

A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputy died after he was shot in his patrol car Saturday evening by an unknown assailant, per the AP. Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, 30, died after being transported to a hospital, said Sheriff Robert Luna said during a press conference late Saturday night. The preliminary investigation showed Clinkunbroomer was driving while on duty and fired upon around 6pm, Luna said. Clinkunbroomer was unconscious in the vehicle when he was found near the intersection of Sierra Highway and Avenue Q in Palmdale by a person Luna identified as a "good Samaritan" who alerted personnel at the Palmdale station of the sheriff's department.

Homicide investigators are aware of video from a surveillance camera that may have captured the shooting, Luna said. Luna said he believed the shooting was a "targeted attack," but the motive, and whether the deputy or the department in general was the target, was not yet known. "We're going to catch the person who did this," Luna said. "Because every resource that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has to bear is going after you."

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Clinkunbroomer, who transferred to the Palmdale station in July 2018, was a third-generation officer who followed his grandfather and father into the sheriff's department, Luna said. The sheriff added that his department was working closely with representatives from the city of Palmdale, about 61 miles northeast of Los Angeles. "Palmdale loves the sheriff's deputies and the deputies take very good care of Palmdale and love our community back," Mayor Laura Bettencourt said at the press conference. "The person that did this is a coward and they will be caught."

(More Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department stories.)

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