The man accused in Saturday’s killing of Palmdale Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, which Sheriff Robert Luna described as a “cowardly” ambush murder, is expected to be charged in an Antelope Valley courthouse Wednesday, according to a source close to the investigation.
Kevin Cataneo Salazar, 29, could be arraigned as soon as Wednesday morning, according to Detective Gus Carrillo of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau, who declined to comment on the possible charges that are being recommended, pending an announcement from the DA’s office.
“We’re working on putting the case together for filing and submitting (Wednesday) morning,” he said, adding that he was waiting to find out if all the charges that have been recommended to the DA are getting approved.
Clinkunbroomer, 30, a West Ranch High School alum and Santa Clarita Valley resident, was in his patrol vehicle at an intersection just outside the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station around 6 p.m. when he was shot and killed. Clinkunbroomer was a field training officer who had worked at the Palmdale station since 2018.
Sheriff’s deputies with the department’s Special Enforcement Team took Salazar into custody after an hourslong standoff at Salazar’s home Monday morning. It’s not exactly clear when he was booked into custody due to a hold placed on his records.
Carrillo, who’s leading the investigation into the murder, said he’s still working on elements of the case and declined to comment Tuesday on any charges being recommended to the DA’s office. He also declined to comment on any of the evidence recovered by the Sheriff’s Department.
A sheriff’s official confirmed Deputy District Attorney David Ayvazian of the L.A. County DA’s office is leading the prosecution. An official with the DA’s office declined to comment Tuesday.
When asked whether Salazar had a criminal record or if that was part of the charges, Carrillo declined to comment, saying the department had put a hold on Salazar’s record pending the presentation of the case to the court.
Ayvazian recently handled the prosecution of murderer Kenneth Gay, who was convicted in the 1983 shooting death of police officer Paul Verna, according to media reports online. After his previous conviction was tossed, Gay was found guilty a second time Aug. 26.