Suspect arrested in ambush killing of LASD deputy
Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer was shot while sitting in his cruiser at an intersection not far from the Palmdale station
PALMDALE, Calif. — 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 in 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.
Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, 30, was shot as he sat in his patrol car at an intersection and died at a hospital after being found unconscious in the vehicle around 6 p.m. Saturday in the city of Palmdale, according to Luna.
“Ryan’s family will never see him again,” the sheriff said.
Luna said the department received information the suspect was at a Palmdale residence. The suspect barricaded himself in the home for several hours before being arrested peacefully, Luna said.
The department released grainy surveillance video of a dark-colored sedan that pulled alongside the patrol car in the moments before the shooting. Luna said investigators believe the “vehicle of interest” is a gray Toyota Corolla manufactured between 2006 and 2012.
Clinkunbroomer had just left the sheriff's station in Palmdale, a city of more than 167,000 residents in the high desert of northern Los Angeles County. A “good Samaritan” spotted him and alerted station personnel.
The sheriff said Clinkunbroomer was a third-generation deputy, following his father and grandfather into the department, and had been assigned to the Palmdale station since July 2018. He was also newly engaged.
“He had so much ahead of him,” Luna said.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom called the killing “horrific, unconscionable and shocking.” He ordered flags at the state capitol flown at half-staff in honor of Clinkunbroomer.
“In this time of mourning, we honor this legacy and send our deepest sympathies to Deputy Clinkunbroomer’s fiancée, his loved ones, and the men and women of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department,” Newsom said in a statement Sunday. “Deputy Clinkunbroomer’s devotion to community and country will never be forgotten.”
The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, the deputies' union, said Clinkunbroomer became engaged to be married four days before he was killed.
“Deputy Sheriff Ryan Clinkunbroomer and his family are an integral part of the very essence of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, and this heart-wrenching murder cuts to the very core of our being,” ALADS President Richard Pippin said in a statement.
Deputy William Warner, who trained Clinkunbroomer, told the Los Angeles Times his determination to follow in his father‘s and grandfather’s footsteps was evident in his work ethic.
“He just wanted to do the best that he could do,” Warner said, “and do his small part to make a difference in the best way that he could.”
A huge crowd attended a vigil for the deputy Sunday evening outside the Palmdale station.
The murder of @LASDHQ Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, who was ambushed as he sat in his patrol car, is an awful tragedy that underscores the dangers faced by cops across the nation. Deputy Clinkunbroomer lived a life of significance serving his community. He leaves behind his… pic.twitter.com/vd25ENHVsR— Bill Bratton (@CommissBratton) September 18, 2023