30-year-old LA County sheriff's deputy shot, killed in ambush

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Sunday, September 17, 2023
Sheriff's deputy shot, killed during ambush in LA
Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, a 30-year-old field training officer, was shot just outside the Palmdale Sheriff's Station. He died at the hospital.

PALMDALE, Calif. -- A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was fatally shot while in his patrol vehicle in what authorities described as an ambush in Palmdale. The shooter remained on the loose Sunday.

Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, a 30-year-old field training officer, was shot Saturday just outside the Palmdale Sheriff's Station at the corner of Sierra Highway and Avenue Q.

Sheriff Robert Luna said a good Samaritan found the deputy unconscious inside the vehicle around 6 p.m.

Clinkunbroomer was quickly rushed to the Antelope Valley Medical Center in Lancaster where he later died.

Overnight, a procession from the hospital briefly shut down local freeways as deputies escorted his remains to the L.A. County coroner.

Luna said Clinkunbroomer's death is being investigated as a murder and is seeking the public's help.

"We really need your help," said Luna. "We need to get this guy off the street, guy or guys. He's a public safety threat. He ambushed and killed, murdered, one of our deputies. We need your help to get him off the street."

Though a description of the suspect or suspects wasn't immediately available, Luna said he believes the shooting was captured on video.

"Homicide investigators are aware of a video that is circulating and are analyzing that video to determine if it is related to the murder of our deputy," said Luna.

Who was Dep. Ryan Clinkunbroomer?

According to Luna, Clinkunbroomer was an eight-year veteran of the department and had been with the Palmdale station since July 2018.

He had been working as a field training officer for the past year and a half.

"Not just anybody becomes a field training officer, it's usually the best of the best," said Luna.

Clinkunbroomer apparently came from a law enforcement family. Luna said his grandfather and father both had worked for the L.A. sheriff's department.

"Service was running through his veins ... so unfair," said Luna. "He embodied the values of bravery, selflessness and an absolute commitment to justice."

Luna also said Clinkunbroomer had just celebrated his engagement about four days before he was killed.

"He was just starting his life," said Luna.

Manhunt now underway

Luna said numerous local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have offered their assistance in the investigation. However, he's pushing the public to come forward, especially those people who may have been in the area at the time of the shooting.

"Somebody knows something," said Luna.

When asked by a reporter if the shooting may have been a targeted attack, Luna noted the investigation is still in its early stages but said "nothing is off the table."

"I think it was a targeted act, based on what we know now, but we're still in the extremely early stages of this investigation," he said.

Palmdale Mayor Laura Bettencourt also spoke to reporters and asked anyone with information to come forward.