A "person of interest" in the fatal shooting of a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy was taken into custody, authorities said Monday.
Sheriff Robert Luna was scheduled to meet with reporters at 10:30 a.m. PDT (1:30 p.m. ET) to reveal more details of a possible break in the case of Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer's slaying on Saturday.
A bystander called 911 after spotting the 30-year-old deputy unconscious in his car at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Southern California suburb of Palmdale, officials said.
Clinkunbroomer was rushed to the hospital but could not be revived.
Investigators said Sunday they were looking for a car - a dark-colored 2006 to 2012 Toyota Corolla - that was seen near Clinkunbroomer's vehicle just before the shooting.
Clinkunbroomer had just left the station when he was discovered near the intersection of Sierra Highway and Avenue Q, which is about 60 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, officials said.
Law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation said Sunday that a video clip that shows a car pulling alongside the patrol car before it speeds away is a focus in the investigation.
Clinkunbroomer was a well regarded deputy and had been working as a field training officer for the past 1 1/2 years, officials said.
The victim, a third-generation deputy, got engaged to his girlfriend four days before the fatal attack, Luna said.
themes: Los Angeles Shooting California
Person of interest detained in murder probe of Los Angeles sheriff's deputy
Los Angeles authorities have detained a person of interest in connection with the murder of a county sheriff's deputy who was ambushed and fatally shot at a traffic light on Saturday, the sheriff's office said on Monday.
A reward of $250,000 was offered on Sunday for any information regarding the shooting of Ryan Clinkunbroomer, 30, as he sat in his patrol car at a red light just outside a sheriff's station in the city of Palmdale, about 55 miles (90 km) northeast of Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles County sheriff's office on Monday said a person of interest had been detained but provided no details.
The sheriff's office said it would hold its next news conference on the matter at 10:30 am PST on Monday.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna at a news conference on Sunday said Clinkunbroomer had been targeted because he was a law enforcement officer.
"Without warning, he was murdered while serving our community," Luna said.
A passerby found Clinkunbroomer at the wheel of his patrol cruiser gravely wounded about 6 p.m. on Saturday and called for help, police said. Clinkunbroomer, who served for eight years on the force, died at the hospital.
Clinkunbroomer, who had just gotten engaged to be married, was a third-generation member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, the sheriff said.
"Service was running through his veins," the sheriff said in a post on Instagram.
Local, state and federal officials had offered assistance in locating the shooter, Luna said.
This year 83 ambush-style attacks have targeted police in the United States, resulting in 15 officers killed by gunfire, according to the National Fraternal Order of Police.
Person of Interest Detained in Ambush Shooting of LA County Deputy
Los Angeles Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer was tragically shot and killed over the weekend in an ambush-style attack. On Monday, authorities announced that a suspect, identified as 29-year-old Kevin Salazar, had been arrested in connection with the shooting. The arrest came after community members provided information that led homicide detectives to identify the suspect and the vehicle used in the crime. Acting on this information, the sheriff's department's Special Enforcement Bureau tactical team went to a home in Palmdale where the suspect was believed to be hiding. While family members came out of the residence, Salazar barricaded himself inside for several hours. Law enforcement officers attempted to de-escalate the situation and peacefully coax the suspect out, but eventually deployed chemical agents, leading Salazar to surrender. Sheriff Robert Luna expressed his pride in the department's handling of the situation, noting that they gave the suspect every opportunity to surrender peacefully, unlike the way Clinkunbroomer was afforded no chance by the suspect. Salazar was taken into custody, and authorities recovered the vehicle and multiple firearms at the scene.
The arrest and subsequent recovery of evidence came after a reward of $250,000 was announced for information leading to an arrest in the case. Images of a vehicle believed to be involved in the attack, a dark gray Toyota Corolla made between 2006 and 2012, were released to the public. The vehicle was later found, along with the aforementioned firearms. However, authorities stress that the investigation is still ongoing, and they encourage anyone with additional information to come forward to assist in the prosecution of Salazar.
During a news conference, Sheriff Luna became emotional as he described the attack on Deputy Clinkunbroomer. He highlighted the sacrifices that law enforcement officers and their families make daily, with the hope of returning home safely. Luna also read a statement from Clinkunbroomer's family, who described him as a dedicated and hardworking deputy who was proud to serve the Palmdale community. Clinkunbroomer's family requested privacy during this time of mourning.
Surveillance video captured the moments before the shooting, showing a black car pulling up to the left of Clinkunbroomer's patrol vehicle at a red light. While the video does not show the actual shots being fired, it does show the black vehicle driving away as the patrol car comes to a stop. A citizen discovered Deputy Clinkunbroomer slumped over in his cruiser and alerted other deputies inside the Palmdale Sheriff's Station. Clinkunbroomer was initially taken to the hospital in his cruiser but was transferred to an ambulance en route. Another deputy took the cruiser to a medical center in Lancaster.
The motive for the shooting remains unclear, and the investigation is ongoing. Clinkunbroomer, an eight-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, was described as an exemplary officer who served the Palmdale and Antelope Valley communities with distinction. His father and grandfather had also worked for the sheriff's department, making him part of three generations of law enforcement officers.
This tragic incident has brought attention to the ongoing tensions between law enforcement and the community in Palmdale. In 2015, a settlement involving police reforms was announced in Palmdale and the nearby city of Lancaster following an investigation that uncovered patterns of excessive force and biased policing practices. Monitors overseeing the settlement have noted a lack of progress in recent years, but have also recognized signs of commitment to reforms.
Suspect arrested in ambush slaying of US deputy sheriff in California
Authorities in the United States city of Los Angeles have arrested a suspect in connection with the murder of a sheriff's deputy who was ambushed and fatally shot at a traffic stop leading to a reward of $250,000 being offered for information.
A 29-year-old man was arrested early on Monday after barricading himself inside a home in the city of Palmdale for several hours before surrendering with weapons, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna told a news conference.
Officials identified the arrested suspect as Kevin Cataneo Salazar of Palmdale.
Luna said authorities have not yet determined a motive for the killing of Deputy Clinkunbroomer and described the situation as “fluid”, saying there could be more arrests.
"I feel extremely confident that we have the right person in custody," Luna said.
"Our deputy was in uniform in a marked black-and-white police vehicle right in front of the station," Luna said. "Why did he do this? I have no idea. Was he targeted? I'm assuming he was but ??¦ our intent is to find out."
Police Arrest 29-Year-Old in Ambush Shooting of Los Angeles County Deputy
A 29-year-old man was arrested early Monday morning in the ambush-style killing of a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy over the weekend, the authorities announced hours after engaging in a standoff at a Southern California home.
The deputy, Ryan Clinkunbroomer, 30, who was on duty and in uniform, was shot on Saturday night when his vehicle was stopped at a red light, shortly after leaving a police station in Palmdale, a city north of Los Angeles. The killing was captured on surveillance video and led to a major manhunt over the weekend.
Acting on tips from community members, sheriff's deputies arrested a man they identified as Kevin Cataneo Salazar on suspicion of killing Deputy Clinkunbroomer, according to Robert Luna, the sheriff of Los Angeles County.
Sheriff Luna said at a news conference on Monday that after members of the suspect's family came out of a home in Palmdale, the suspect barricaded himself in for several hours. Officers tried to use hostage negotiators to no avail, and then deployed chemical agents to draw Mr. Cataneo Salazar outside.
"He never gave our deputy a chance, but yet our men and women gave this individual a chance to take him into custody peacefully," Sheriff Luna said at the news conference.
After the shooting, officials described a "vehicle of interest" as a dark gray Toyota Corolla made between 2006 and 2012, and they announced a $250,000 award for information leading to a suspect's arrest and prosecution. Sheriff Luna said on Monday that media reports, which circulated photos and a description of the vehicle, were helpful in eliciting the tips that led to the arrest.
The vehicle in question, as well as several firearms, were taken by investigators at the house, Sheriff Luna said.
Deputy Clinkunbroomer, who was transferred to the Palmdale station in July 2018, had worked in the sheriff's department for about eight years, following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father, officials said. For the past year and a half, he also trained and supervised other deputies. "Not just anybody becomes a field training officer, " Sheriff Luna said over the weekend. "It's usually the best of the best."
"Our deputy was a devoted family member and a cherished community member," Sheriff Luna said in a statement Sunday.
Deputy Clinkunbroomer had gotten engaged only four days earlier, he added.
According to statistics released by the F.B.I. concerning officers killed in the line of duty, five officers have died in 2023 through August in situations designated as "ambushes." Twelve officers were killed on the job in such situations in all of last year; eight were killed in 2021 and nine in 2020.
Palmdale has a recent history of tension between law enforcement officers and the community. In 2015, the U.S. .....
Monitors overseeing the settlement in Palmdale and Lancaster have documented a lack of progress in the past two years toward the goals set in the settlement, including a resistance to change and denial of responsibility. Their report this year cited several areas in need of improvement, including daily interactions with the public, but it also recognized "new signs of commitment to reforms" and better communication and transparency.
250,000 reward offered in search for killer of California deputy sheriff
Authorities in the United States have offered a $250,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the killer of a deputy sheriff in the western state of California.
Sheriff Robert Luna called the shooting a "targeted attack" because the 30-year-old was a law enforcement officer.
"Without warning, he was murdered while serving our community," Luna told a news conference on Sunday.
Police released grainy surveillance video of a dark saloon car that pulled up alongside Clinkunbroomer's vehicle moments before the shooting. Luna said investigators believe the "vehicle of interest" is a grey Toyota Corolla manufactured between 2006 and 2012.
Los Angeles County, the city of Palmdale and the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs put up a reward of $250,000 for information leading to the killer's arrest.
"Whoever did this - I'd give in," Luna said. "We are going to find you."Clinkunbroomer was found by a passer-by who alerted police [Richard Vogel/AP Photo]
California Governor Gavin Newsom called the killing "horrific, unconscionable, and shocking." He ordered flags at the state capitol flown at half mast in Clinkunbroomer's honour.
Clinkunbroomer, who had been in the force for eight years and was engaged to be married, was found at the wheel of his car by a passer-by who called for help. He died in hospital.
Luna said the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office would use every resource, and that local, state and federal officials had offered assistance.
Suspect detained in murder investigation of Los Angeles deputy
In a tragic incident that has sent shockwaves through the community, Los Angeles county sheriff's deputy Ryan Clinkunbroome was fatally shot while sitting in his patrol car at a red light on Saturday. However, authorities have now detained a person of interest in connection with this devastating ambush killing. The Los Angeles County sheriff's office made the announcement on Monday, though they did not provide any additional information about the individual. A news conference is scheduled for later today, where officials are expected to reveal more details about the arrest.
The breakthrough in the investigation came after the department released a description of a vehicle believed to be involved in the shooting. Law enforcement received a tip which led them to the person of interest, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. This development provides a glimmer of hope for justice in this heinous crime that took the life of a dedicated officer.
The murder of Deputy Clinkunbroome has rocked the Los Angeles community, leading to an outpouring of support and a reward of $250,000 for any information related to the shooting. .....
Speaking at a news conference on Sunday, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna expressed his outrage over the targeting of law enforcement officers. He stated that Clinkunbroome was intentionally singled out because of his profession, emphasizing that "without warning, he was murdered while serving our community." The sheriff described the incident as a cold-blooded ambush, leaving no doubt that the deputy was a victim of a deliberate attack.
The discovery of Clinkunbroome's gravely wounded body was made by a passerby who promptly called for help. Despite the efforts of medical personnel, the eight-year veteran of the force succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. The loss of Deputy Clinkunbroome, who had recently become engaged, has been deeply felt within the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office. He was a third-generation member of the department, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. Sheriff Luna paid tribute to the fallen deputy, stating that "service was running through his veins," in a heartfelt post on Instagram.
The murder of Deputy Clinkunbroome highlights the ongoing dangers faced by law enforcement officers across the United States. ..... In response to this alarming trend, local, state, and federal officials have offered their support and assistance in locating the shooter responsible for this tragic incident.
As the investigation continues, the community remains hopeful that justice will be served. The apprehension of a person of interest provides a glimmer of hope, although the motive behind the ambush and details surrounding the suspect remain unknown. Los Angeles County residents anxiously await the upcoming news conference, where they hope to find answers and closure for the loss of a dedicated and courageous officer.
Los Angeles Deputy Ambushed and Fatally Shot in Patrol Car
In a shocking and brazen attack, a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy was ambushed and killed while sitting in his patrol car on Saturday night in Palmdale, California. The deputy, identified as Ryan Clinkunbroomer, had become engaged just four days prior, adding an even more heartbreaking layer to this tragic incident.
The assailant, who remains unidentified, targeted the deputy seemingly because he was in uniform, according to authorities. Sheriff Robert Luna addressed the media at a late-night press conference, expressing his disbelief and emphasizing that no theory had been ruled out regarding the motive behind the attack. Luna stated, "He was just driving down the street and for no apparent reason... somebody decided to shoot and murder him."
Clinkunbroomer was found unconscious by a passerby near the intersection of Sierra Highway and Avenue Q. The bystander immediately alerted authorities, and the mortally wounded deputy was rushed to the hospital. Despite efforts to save his life, Clinkunbroomer succumbed to his injuries.
As the investigation unfolds, detectives are reviewing possible surveillance footage that may have captured the attack. However, they are urging anyone with information to come forward to assist in the apprehension of the suspect. Sheriff Luna pleaded, "Detectives are in the initial stages of this investigation and seeking the public's assistance... we really need your help."
Describing Clinkunbroomer's dedication and commitment, Luna revealed that he was a third-generation deputy who had served as a field training officer for the past year and a half. This position is reserved for the "best of the best" in the department, according to Luna. The sheriff spoke highly of Clinkunbroomer, saying, "He embodied the values of bravery, selflessness, and an absolute commitment to justice."
Clinkunbroomer's tragic death has left a void in the community he served. His devotion to his family and his work was evident, and his loss is deeply felt by his loved ones and colleagues. Alongside other county employees and community members, deputies gathered to form a solemn and respectful processional as Clinkunbroomer's body was transported. The fallen deputy was draped in an American flag as he was wheeled out of the hospital and placed into a coroner's vehicle, a poignant reminder of the sacrifice he made while serving his community.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer ambush homicide: Person of interest detained
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer was killed in an ambush shooting outside the Palmdale sheriff's station on Saturday. An unidentified person of interest in the homicide case has been detained, the department confirmed at about 6:15 a.m. Monday. A department news conference is scheduled for 10:30 a.m.
The sheriff's department said Deputy Clinkunbroomer had just left the Palmdale station and was sitting at a red light at the intersection of Sierra Highway and Avenue Q at about 6 p.m. Saturday when he was found slumped over the wheel of his patrol vehicle by a good Samaritan.
"He was in uniform, sitting in a black and white vehicle marked L.A. County Sheriff's, waiting for a red light," Sheriff Robert Luna said. "Our deputy never even had a chance."
The victim was identified as Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, who was rushed to Antelope Valley Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries. He was 30 years old.
There was no information provided on the shooter or a possible motive.
I want to let to our community know Deputy Clinkunbroomer left his family tonight to serve our community. He laid everything on the line to serve us. He wore a uniform just like other @LASDHQ deputies wear, driving in a police car, and he was senselessly murdered tonight. pic.twitter.com/Jqc2sSB63c- Robert Luna (@LACoSheriff) September 17, 2023
"We're gonna catch the person who did this," the sheriff said during a press conference late Saturday evening. "Every resource that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has to bear is going after you."
Investigators are analyzing a video that shows a sedan slowly pulling up behind an LASD vehicle at around the time that the shooting occurred before speeding away, Luna said.
During a press conference on Sunday, the sheriff said that the vehicle of interest is a dark gray 2006-2012 Toyota Corolla.
..... We need to get this guy off the street," Luna said. "He ambushed and killed - murdered - one of our deputies. ..... to get him off the street."
The sheriff further noted that Clinkunbroomer had spent about eight years with the department and transferred to the Palmdale station in July 2018. He had been acting as a field training officer for nearly two years, Luna said.
Clinkunbroomer was a third generation LASD member, behind his father and grandfather.
"Service was in his blood," the sheriff said.
He had just become engaged to his girlfriend four days ago, the sheriff said. Clinkunbroomer leaves behind his fiancee, parents and grandparents.
"He didn't deserve this," an emotional Luna said. "This is so unfair. We're hurting because we lost somebody. It hurts bad. It sucks, just to put it bluntly. Our hearts absolutely go out to his family."
Sheriff Luna withheld specifics on the investigation as it remains in its early stages. He says that as new information comes to light, the public will be alerted.
During a procession early Sunday morning, hundreds of law enforcement officers escorted Clinkunbroomer's body to the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.
A large area on the street outside of the station was surrounded by crime scene tape. An LASD vehicle was also taped off outside of the hospital where the deputy was taken after being discovered in the patrol car.
"Somebody saw something. Somebody knows something," Luna said. "There is a family here at this hospital grieving an unimaginable loss. .....
Politicians, law enforcement officials and community leaders took to to social media to offer their condolences over the tragic loss of life throughout the day on Sunday, and flags at the state Capitol and Capitol Annex Swing Space were flown at half-staff.
During Sunday's press conference, County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said she would seek $100,000 toward a reward to locate the suspect or suspect involved, which the Palmdale Mayor Laura Bettencourt said the city would match. Richard Pippin, the President of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, has also pledged an additional $50,000.
Clinkunbroomer was honored outside of the Palmdale sheriff's station Sunday evening at 7 p.m. with a candlelight vigil.
Anyone with information or who may have witnessed the incident is urged to contact homicide investigators at (323) 890-5500.KCAL-News Staff
The KCAL News Staff is a group of experienced journalists who bring you the content on KCALNews.com and CBSLA.com.Twitter Facebook Instagram
Arrest made in ambush killing of LA Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer
Clinkunbroomer was shot over the weekend in his patrol vehicle.An arrest has been made in the shooting death of Los Angeles Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, authorities announced Monday.
Sources told Fox News that a suspect - identified by Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna as 29-year-old Kevin Salazar - was located following a tip. Clinkunbroomer was shot on Saturday, Sept. 16, while he was in his patrol vehicle at an intersection in Palmdale and later "succumbed to his injuries," authorities said.
"Community members came forward with information which led homicide detectives to identify the suspect and the vehicle used in the murder of Deputy Clinkunbroomer early this morning," Luna said Monday afternoon.
The sheriff's department's Special Enforcement Bureau tactical team then went to a home in Palmdale and "during that operation, deputies surrounded the residence and called out all the occupants of that residence," Luna continued.
"Eventually, family members did come out. The suspect chose to barricade himself and refused to initially come out. He barricaded himself for several hours," Luna added, noting that de-escalation techniques were used in an attempt to coax Salazar out of the property.
"Eventually, they deployed chemical agents and the suspect ultimately surrendered," he said.
"And I want to take a pause here for a second when I talk about how proud I am of this department after a significant tragedy that we've shared with all of you, because those special enforcement deputies took the time to try to de-escalate this and take this individual peacefully into custody when they knew that our deputy was not afforded the same opportunity," Luna also said. .....
Police last night announced a reward of $250,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case.
Investigators had also released images of a vehicle - possibly a Toyota Corolla between the model years of 2006 to 2012 - sought in connection to the fatal attack. That vehicle later was found in addition to "numerous firearms," Luna said Monday, stressing that the case is still under investigation.
"I do want to stress to our community that although we are extremely confident that we have the right person in custody, I am still asking people to come forward and give us any piece of information that they believe that they have. Why? Because the arrest is only one part of this. We have to get this individual prosecuted now. To the full extent of the law," Luna said. "And we need the public's continued help and support in doing that."
Luna also choked up at one point during a news conference Monday while describing the attack on Clinkunbroomer.
"Our officers, our deputies go out and serve this community every day, putting their lives on the line. So we have a lot to be thankful for that we have men and women who volunteered to do this and families who kiss them goodbye and just pray that they come back home," Luna said. "And in this case, Ryan's family will never see him again."
Luna also read out a statement from Clinkunbroomer's family, also describing the officer as being among "three generations" of law enforcement. The deputy's father and grandfather also worked for the sheriff's department.
"Our son Ryan was a dedicated, hardworking deputy sheriff who enjoyed working here at the Palmdale station. 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," Luna said. "Ryan was recently engaged to the love of his life. As our firstborn son, Ryan will be greatly missed by his family, friends and the sheriff's department as a whole. Please keep Ryan's family, friends and colleagues in your prayers and respect everyone's privacy during our time of mourning."
Surveillance video that homicide investigators were aware of appeared to show the moments before Clinkunbroomer was shot in the back of the head and killed.
The video, obtained by FOX 11 Los Angeles, shows a black car pulling up to the left of a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's cruiser at a red light. It is not possible to see any shots fired, but the black vehicle drives away as the sheriff's cruiser slowly rolls forward and then comes to a stop.
Clinkunbroomer was initially taken to the hospital in his cruiser, but an ambulance caught up with them on the way, according to FOX 11.
Clinkunbroomer was then put in an ambulance, and another deputy took his cruiser to a medical center in Lancaster.
The motive for the shooting is unclear.
Clinkunbroomer was an eight-year veteran of LASD who served the Palmdale and Antelope Valley communities with "absolute distinction," Luna said.
Fox News Sarah Rumpf-Whitten, Bill Melugin, Landon Mion and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Los Angeles deputy shot and killed after being 'ambushed' in his patrol car
A Los Angeles Sheriff's deputy was “ambushed” and killed Saturday night while in his patrol car by an unknown suspect. Authorities suspect the deputy was targeted simply because "he was in uniform."
Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, 30, was found unconscious in his car at 6 p.m. Saturday night, Sheriff Robert Luna told reporters at a late night press conference. The bystander called 911 and Clinkunbroomer was taken to the hospital for a gunshot wound but did not survive.
Authorities have not yet identified the gunman. Luna said no theory was eliminated for the suspect's motive, but it appeared the deputy was targeted because "he was in uniform."
Clinkunbroomer had just left the Palmdale station and his car was found nearby at the intersection of Sierra Highway and Avenue Q. Investigators are searching to see if there is any video of the attack but are asking for anyone with information to come forward.
..... So I'm gonna continue with my notes, but I'm just gonna pause we really need your help."
A third-generation deputy, Clinkunbroomer had spent the last year and a half as a field training officer. .....
"He embodied the values of bravery... selflessness, and an absolute commitment to justice," Luna said. "Our deputy was a devoted family member and a shared cherished member of our community who was cowardly shot while working tirelessly to serve our community this evening."
Clinkunbroomer got engaged just four days prior to his death, Luna said. In addition to his fiance, Clinkunbroomer is survived by his parents and grandparents.
..... Clinkunbroomer was draped in an American flag as he was wheeled out of the hospital and into a coroner's vehicle.
California sheriff's deputy shot dead in ambush attack
A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy has been shot and killed in what officials call an ambush while he was sitting in his patrol car outside a sheriff's station in the California city of Palmdale, in uniform and on duty.
Sheriff Robert Luna called the incident that occurred on Saturday night “murder” and a "targeted attack" on Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, 30, because he was a police officer, serving his community about 55 miles (90 km) northeast of Los Angeles.
During a late-night news conference, Luna asked the public to come forward with any video that may exist showing what happened.
..... He was murdered (Saturday night). He didn't deserve that. ... From everything I know about Ryan, people loved and adored him."
"We're going to catch this person," he added.
Suspect in ambush killing of L.A. deputy pleads not guilty due to insanity
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon has announced multiple charges against Kevin Cataneo Salazar for the ambush killing of sheriff's deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer. Salazar, who was taken into custody on Monday, has been charged with murder and special circumstance charges including killing a peace officer, lying in wait, and discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Gascon revealed that Salazar had entered a dual plea of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity. The murder charge stems from the fatal shooting of Deputy Clinkunbroomer, who was found with a gunshot wound outside the Palmdale sheriff's station and later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Clinkunbroomer, a 30-year-old field training officer, was targeted in what Sheriff Luna described as a “sickening” act.
Gascon, who has faced criticism for his perceived soft-on-crime policies, assured the public that his office would aggressively prosecute Salazar for the "cowardly and senseless attack." However, Gascon's opponents, including prosecutor Jonathan Hatami, have accused him of removing special circumstances and gun use allegations in all cases. They argue that this directive undermines justice in cases of heinous crimes like the murder of a police officer.
Richard Pippin, president of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, expressed hope that Gascon would follow through on his commitment to pursuing justice for Deputy Clinkunbroomer's family. Gascon's progressive policies have been met with backlash from law enforcement and elected officials. Despite surviving two recall attempts, Gascon faces challenges from three of his own deputy district attorneys in the upcoming election.
Meanwhile, the suspect's attorney, George Rosenstock, entered a plea of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity on Salazar's behalf during the arraignment. Salazar was arrested after barricading himself in his family's Palmdale home following the shooting. The motive for the ambush killing remains unclear, and authorities have not disclosed any prior connection between Salazar and Deputy Clinkunbroomer.
The case will now be reviewed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, which will determine the charges to be filed against Salazar. Gascon has pledged to seek a conviction and a life sentence for the suspect, emphasizing his commitment to Deputy Clinkunbroomer's family during an emotional press conference. The deputy's fiancee, parents, brother, and sister were present, along with numerous mourning sheriff's deputies.
As the investigation continues, details about Salazar's mental health have emerged. His mother revealed that he had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and had attempted suicide twice. However, it remains unclear whether Salazar would have qualified under California's "red flag law" that allows for firearms to be seized from individuals deemed a danger to themselves or others. There were no records of anyone petitioning to remove Salazar's weapons or prevent him from purchasing them.
While Salazar's mother claims to have sought help from law enforcement in the past due to her son's refusal to take medication and aggressive behavior towards himself, it seems no action was taken. The tragic circumstances of this case have raised questions about the handling of individuals with mental illnesses and the effectiveness of red flag laws in preventing such incidents.
Suspect in Los Angeles County deputy's deadly ambush had 'record for needing mental help,' family says
Kevin Salazar allegedly shot and killed deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer outside a sheriff's station as he sat in his patrol vehicle.The family of the man accused of killing a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy in what authorities have described as a targeted “ambush” said he suffered from mental health issues.
Jessica Salazar, the sister of Kevin Salazar, told Fox Los Angeles that her brother was not in the right mental state when he allegedly shot and killed Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer on Saturday.
"My brother's getting called a coward. He wasn't in his right state of mind," she said. "My brother did have schizophrenia. He did have paranoia."
Kevin Salazar, 29, allegedly shot and killed Clinkunbroomer, a 30-year-old field training officer, outside the Palmdale Sheriff's station, located northeast of downtown Los Angeles.
Clinkunbroomer was found unconscious with a gunshot wound in his patrol vehicle. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna on Monday described the murder as an ambush killing.
Investigators have not determined a motive for the deadly shooting. Salazar was arrested Monday morning in Palmdale following a standoff with authorities.
Salazar's mother, Marle Salazar, told the Los Angeles Times that her son was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic several years ago and that she called the Sheriff's Department at least twice when he refused to take his medication and became aggressive.
She said he had been hospitalized but had stopped taking his medication about 10 months ago.
"My son is mentally ill, and if he did something, he wasn't in his full mental capacity," she told the newspaper. "They're only saying that he was the one that shot the deputy, but nobody is saying he has a record for needing mental help."
She said her son was home with family after the shooting and didn't appear to show any signs of nervousness or that he had been involved. She told the Times that he owned a gun.
Of his alleged mental state, Jessica Salazar said the family was "not justifying" her brother's alleged actions.
"We feel for the family," she said. ..... Nobody wishes to go through that."
On Monday, Luna was asked about Salazar's potential mental health issues.
"Think about this," he said. "If I had to go to your family and tell them that you were not coming home and were just murdered, does it matter what the person was thinking or their condition?"
Person detained in ambush killing of Los Angeles sheriff's deputy
Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroome shot as he sat in his patrol car at a red light on Saturday.Authorities have detained a person of interest in the investigation of the fatal shooting of a Los Angeles county sheriff's deputy after a manhunt to find the perpetrator behind the ambush killing this weekend.
The department did not provide additional information about the person, but said officials would hold a news conference later Monday. Officials detained the person after a description of a vehicle was released and law enforcement received a tip, the Los Angeles Times reported.