Person of Interest Detained in Ambush Shooting of LA County Deputy

21:22 18.09.2023

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.

/ Monday, September 18, 2023, 9:22 PM /

themes:  Los Angeles  Shooting  California

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