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Suspect arrested after deputy fatally shot in patrol car

The 30-year-old Los Angeles County deputy was shot ambush-style while on duty. Police say a suspect is in custody.
Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy shot dead in his patrol car
Posted at 6:30 AM, Sep 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-18 19:59:52-04

A suspect is in custody after a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was shot dead in his patrol car.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna confirmed Monday that authorities arrested Kevin Salazar at a residence in Palmdale, California. Sheriff Luna said that tips from residents helped lead to Salazar's arrest.

Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, 30, was on duty Saturday night when he was found unconscious in his vehicle by a civilian near the sheriff's station in Palmdale. The civilian immediately called police, and the deputy was transported to a hospital. 

Despite efforts from medical staff, Clinkunbroomer died at the hospital, said Sheriff Luna in a press conference

The sheriff's office pleaded for the public's help in finding the suspect. A $250,000 award was offered in hopes of finding the person responsible. Luna said on Monday that Salazar surrendered to authorities "peacefully." 

Luna said that authorities recovered multiple firearms from Salazar's residence. Luna added that he does not believe there are any other suspects involved. 

"Even though I am extremely confident we have the right person, I am still asking people to come forward and give us any piece of information they believe they have," Luna said. "The arrest is only one part of this. We have to get this individual prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

Luna previously said that Clinkunbroomer was targeted.

"Our deputy left his family tonight to serve our community," Luna said. "He laid it all on the line to serve us. He didn't deserve this."

"From everything I know about Ryan, people absolutely loved and adored him. He wasn't just one of our deputy sheriffs. He was a third-generation deputy. His father and grandfather served with us," the sheriff continued. "Service was running through his veins. He embodied the values of bravery, selflessness and was committed to justice." 

Clinkunbroomer was transferred to the Palmdale sheriff's station in 2018, where he served as a field training officer — to which Luna said "only the best of the best" become field training officers. 

Clinkunbroomer had gotten engaged just days prior to his death.

"He was just starting his life," the sheriff said.

Luna issued a plea to anyone with information to contact homicide investigators at (323) 890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 1(800) 222-TIPS to report anonymously. 

There have been 83 ambush-style attacks on law enforcement in 2023, 15 of which have been fatal,   according to a Sept. 5 report from the Fraternal Order of Police.


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