A deputy was shot to death Saturday in a targeted ambush that took place in front of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department‘s Palmdale station, Sheriff Robert Luna said.
Luna spoke to reporters from the hospital where the deputy’s family was mourning. He identified the third-generation member of the sheriff’s department as 30-year-old Ryan Clinkunbroomer. “Service was in his blood,” he said.
Clinkunbroomer was shot around 6 p.m. while sitting in his patrol car outside the station. He was transported to Antelope Valley Medical Center in Lancaster, where he died.
The sheriff disclosed that Clinkunbroomer became engaged just four days ago. “He didn’t deserve this,” Luna said.
He said Clinkunbroomer “embodied the values of bravery, selflessness and an absolute commitment to justice. Our deputy was a devoted family member, a cherished member of our community who was cowardly shot while working tirelessly to serve our community.”
“Our hearts absolutely go out to his family,” he said.
The sheriff struggled to hold back emotions as he discussed what he described as a targeted ambush killing of the deputy as he pleaded with the public for information to find the killer or killers.
Luna said Homicide detectives were studying video that news networks have been broadcasting that appears to show a suspect vehicle drive up behind Clinkunbroomer’s patrol vehicle, then pull alongside momentarily before speeding away. But he also implored anyone who has video or information to provide it to the department.
“We are utilizing every resource available to apprehend the suspect responsible for this heinous crime,” Luna said.
Luna said that Clinkunbroomer was an eight-year veteran of the department and had been with the Palmdale station since July 2018, and served as a field training officer, which Luna said is a role reserved for only “the best of the best.”
When asked what it feels like to go through this experience, Luna said, “It sucks.” He added that it is a very dangerous job, but that Clinkunbroomer “was just driving down the street.” He said he believes that the deputy was shot simply for wearing the uniform.
“We’ll be leaning on each other,” Luna said. “We have a lot of deputies who are hurting … it’s a horrible feeling, but you know what, we’re still out there serving, we’re still responding to calls … when you dial 911, you will have deputies respond to your home.”
Palmdale Mayor Laura Bettencourt also spoke to reporters and beseeched anyone with information or video to come forward.