On Saturday, an unidentified suspect “ambushed” a Los Angeles County sheriff’s officer, killing him in his patrol car. Authorities believe the deputy was the victim of a targeted attack purely because “he was in uniform.”
At 6 p.m., Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, 30, was discovered unconscious in his vehicle. Sheriff Robert Luna informed the media on Saturday during a late-night news conference. Clinkunbroomer was brought to the hospital with a gunshot wound after the bystander dialed 911. He did not make it.
A suspect has not been named by the authorities. No possibility had been ruled out regarding the shooter’s motivation, according to Luna, but it seemed the deputy was targeted because “he was in uniform.”
Luna said, “He was just driving down the street, and for no apparent reason — and we’re still looking into the specific reasons — somebody decided to shoot and murder him.”
Clinkunbroomer had just left the Palmdale station when his vehicle was discovered close by at the Sierra Highway and Avenue Q intersection. The inquiry is centered on a video clip that shows a car driving up next to the patrol car before accelerating away, according to law enforcement officials familiar with the case on Sunday.
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Few clues have emerged as authorities wonder if Clinkunbroomer was the target or if the shooter was looking for any person in uniform driving a patrol car to attack, according to a source. Investigators are seeking other footage that might correspond to what appears to be the ambush’s beginning.
“Detectives are in the initial stages of this investigation and seeking the public’s assistance to apprehend this suspect,” Luna said on Saturday. “So I’m going to continue with my notes, but I’m just going to pause — we really need your help.”
For related stories on law enforcement incidents, you can read about a man shot and killed by a deputy after fatally shooting a woman in Columbia County or the unfortunate incident of a Forsyth County deputy killed in a crash while on duty.
The agency announced in a statement on Sunday that it was looking for a dark-colored Toyota Corolla from 2006 to 2012, which was allegedly shown in the footage. The department designated the sedan as a “vehicle of interest.”
Clinkunbroomer’s killing was referred to as an “unprovoked execution” in a statement released on Sunday by Richard Pippin, head of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs.
“We all suffer immeasurable loss when cowardly acts of murder such as this are committed,” Pippin added. “We are left reeling from this incomprehensible tragedy. I assure you that every law enforcement officer in the region is focused on relentlessly pursuing these criminals until justice is served.”
Third-generation deputy Clinkunbroomer has served as a field training officer for the previous 18 months. For the “best of the best” in the department, according to Luna, this position is reserved.
According to Luna, “He embodied the values of bravery … selflessness and an absolute commitment to justice.” “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.”
Four days before his passing, Clinkunbroomer had gotten engaged, according to Luna. Clinkunbroomer leaves behind his fiancée, his parents, and his grandparents.
Deputies formed a processional with other county employees, local residents, and other mourners as Clinkunbroomer’s body was taken Saturday night. As Clinkunbroomer was brought out of the hospital and into a coroner’s car, he was covered with an American flag.
The sheriff’s office issued a $250,000 reward late on Sunday for information that results in a suspect’s capture and conviction.
The funding consists of $100,000 from county taxpayers, pledged by elected Supervisor Kathryn Barger, $100,000 from the city of Palmdale, which has a contract with the sheriff’s office for police services, and $50,000 from the union that represents the department’s rank-and-file deputies.