This is the moment a suspect was arrested after Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer was killed in a “targeted” ambush in his patrol car just days after his engagement.
Kevin Salazar, 29, was arrested early Monday after an hours-long standoff with police at a Palmdale home — just 36 hours after Clinkunbroomer, 30, was shot in the line of duty.
The news comes after authorities offered a $250,000 reward to hunt down a suspect and released grainy surveillance video of a dark sedan driving alongside the patrol car moments before the shooting.
Sheriff Robert Luna said during a news conference announcing the arrest that community leaders presented information that led them to the suspect and his vehicle.
Salazar refused to leave the house for hours and only surrendered after police released chemical agents.
Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer had gotten engaged just four days before his murder. He was an eight-year veteran of the police force, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather
Clinkunbroomer was found near the intersection of Sierra Highway and Avenue Q in Palmdale
Luna said he believes the shooting was a “targeted attack,” but the motive and whether Clinkunbroomer or the department in general was the target remains unclear.
“Without warning, he was murdered while serving our community,” an emotional Luna said at a news conference Sunday. ‘Please I’m begging you. Someone has information. Do things right.’
Luna said investigators believe the “vehicle of interest” was a gray Toyota Corolla manufactured between 2006 and 2012.
According to local reports, a vehicle matching the description of “vehicle of interest” was towed from a Palmdale neighborhood Monday morning.
The video shows Clinkunbroomer’s patrol car stopping at a red light. A black sedan stops a few feet behind the car before pulling over to the driver’s side. After a moment it disappears down the street as the patrol car rolls forward slightly and comes to a stop.
Clinkunbroomer was found near the intersection of Sierra Highway and Avenue Q in Palmdale by a person who identified Luna as a “good Samaritan” and alerted city sheriff’s station personnel.
The deputy was taken to Antelope Valley Medical Center in Lancaster, where he was treated for a gunshot wound and ultimately died.
A vehicle matching the description of “vehicle of interest” was towed from a Palmdale neighborhood Monday morning
A car matching the description of the “vehicle of interest” that authorities were searching for in connection with the ambush killing of Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer was just towed from a Palmdale neighborhood. It is a few miles from the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station. @knxnews pic.twitter.com/gRSU45xH3A
— Margaret Carrero (@KNXmargaret) September 18, 2023
Authorities have offered a $250,000 reward for the search for a suspect
Clinkunbroomer was a third-generation deputy whose father and grandfather also served in the police force. He is pictured with his fiancée
“We are going to catch the person who did this,” Luna said Saturday evening. “Because every resource the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has at its disposal is targeting you.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom called the killing “horrific, incomprehensible and shocking.” He ordered flags to be flown at half-mast in the state capital in honor of Clinkunbroomer.
Clinkunbroomer, who transferred to the Palmdale station in July 2018, was a third-generation officer who followed his grandfather and father into the sheriff’s department, Luna said.
“In this time of grief, we honor this legacy and extend our deepest condolences to Deputy Clinkunbroomer’s fiancée, his loved ones, and the men and women of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department,” Newsom said in a statement Sunday. “Deputy Clinkunbroomer’s commitment to the community and country will never be forgotten.”
The sheriff said his department was working closely with officials in the city of Palmdale, about 61 miles (98 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles.
“Palmdale loves sheriff’s deputies, and the deputies take great care of Palmdale and love our community,” Mayor Laura Bettencourt said at the news conference. “The person who did this is a coward and they will be caught.”
“It’s disgusting, heartbreaking news,” Republican Sen. Scott Wilk, who represents Palmdale, posted Saturday night on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
California Governor Gavin Newsom called the killing “horrible, irresponsible and shocking.”
Police cars block a street where a sheriff’s deputy was shot in his patrol car in Palmdale, California, on Sunday, September 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
Miguel Ruiz (center) and his wife Sara (seated) attend a vigil in Palmdale, Calif., for Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Clinkunbroomer at the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station on Sunday
A vigil for Clinkunbroomer was planned for Sunday evening outside the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station.
Deputy Clinkunbroomer had eight years of police experience.
He transferred to the Palmdale station in July 2018 and served as a field training officer for nearly two years, where he trained and supervised officers.
Clinkunbroomer had reportedly dropped off a trainee at the train station before he was murdered.
Sheriff Luna said only “the best of the best” become field training officers. In a Facebook post, he called the murder “senseless.”
“From what I know about Ryan, people absolutely loved and adored him,” Luna wrote.
“Service was in his blood.” “He embodied the values of bravery and selflessness and was committed to justice.”
Clinkunbroomer was a third-generation deputy whose father and grandfather also served in the police force.
A passerby found him unconscious near the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station around 6 p.m. He was taken to a hospital where he later died from his injuries.
After Clinkunbroomer’s death, police and fire departments held a large procession for the fallen officer that led from Lancaster to the coroner’s office in Boyle Heights.
Colleagues and members of law enforcement also left messages in his honor.
In a Facebook post, the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station said they had lost “one of their loved ones” and that the deputy “did an outstanding job in everything he did.”
“He was very thorough in his investigations, truly cared about the community he served, and was always willing to help his partners whenever they needed it,” the post said.
“We are numb with grief and trying to come to terms with the fact that he has left a huge hole in our ward family.”
“Be calm, our hero, our friend, we will make it from here.”