Officer Down: LA Deputy shot in 'targeted attack'; suspect on the loose

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LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said that Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer was shot and killed while sitting in his patrol vehicle Saturday night in what he called a “targeted attack.”

Deputy Clinkunbroomer was sitting in his vehicle in front of Palmdale Station when an unidentified assailant shot him in the back of the head. Video shows a black vehicle stopping behind the deputy’s car, then slowly rolling up to the driver’s side of the patrol vehicle and stopping.

A suspect from the black vehicle presumably shoots the deputy at that time, as the black car speeds off seconds later and the patrol car drifts forward and stops.

Someone found the deputy unresponsive in the vehicle around 6:00pm and called for help. Deputy Clinkunbroomer was transported to Lancaster hospital, where he unfortunately died from his injuries.

Sheriff Luna said that so far authorities are unclear what led to the shooting, and they have not released suspect information to the public at this time. “Somebody decided to shoot and murder him, I’m assuming, at this point, because he was in uniform,” he said.

L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said, “There are a lot of unanswered questions — including who committed this heinous and brazen attack and why. Whoever is responsible must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and brought to swift justice.”

Sheriff Luna said that investigators need the public’s help to identify and find the murderer. Anyone with information can call (323) 890-5500. “We’re gonna catch the person who did this,” the sheriff said. “Somebody saw something. Somebody knows something.”

Palmdale Mayor Laura Bettencourt said that Deputy Clinkunbroomer is a hero. “The person that did that is a coward and they will be caught,” she said.

Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs union President Nancy Escobedo said, “The heinous and cowardly murder of this young deputy is overwhelmingly tragic. Our thoughts immediately turn to his family as we express our heartfelt condolences for their unimaginable loss.”

Deputy Clinkunbroomer was 30 years old and had been with the agency for eight years. He was a third-generation deputy, as his father and grandfather had all been deputies with the agencies as well. The deputy had gotten engaged four days before his death.

The Palmdale Station wrote a tribute to Deputy Clinkunbroomer: “Words cannot express the shock, sadness and anger over this senseless loss of an exemplary deputy and an even better human being. Deputy Clinkunbroomer strived for excellence in everything he did. He was very thorough in his investigations, genuinely cared for the community he served, and he was always willing to help out his partners any time they needed it. We are numb with grief and are grasping to come to terms with the fact that he has left a very big void within our station family.

“Ryan, we are so very sorry for your family and your fiance. Rest assured, we will do our very best to take care of them in your absence and make sure they know that they are ALWAYS a part of our family.”
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