By Signal Staff
Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, a Santa Clarita Valley resident, was murdered while on duty in Palmdale on Saturday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported.
A good Samaritan found Clinkunbroomer, 30, unconscious and “in medical distress” in his patrol car at approximately 6 p.m. near the intersection of Sierra Highway and Avenue Q, in front of the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station.
He had been shot in the head. The shooter remains at large as of Sunday morning.
The mortally wounded deputy was rushed to a hospital in Palmdale, where he died later Saturday night.
“Despite the medical staff’s best efforts to save our deputy’s life, regrettably, he succumbed to his injuries,” Sheriff Robert Luna said in a late-night news conference on Saturday. “Our deputy left his family tonight to serve our community … laid it all on the line to serve us. He didn’t deserve this.”
Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau investigators are seeking the public’s assistance to track down the shooter, Luna said. Detectives are analyzing a security camera video circulating online that appears to show a dark-colored car pulling alongside the deputy’s patrol car, pausing, and then speeding away.
“We really need your help. We need to get this guy off the street,” Luna said. “He’s a public safety threat. He ambushed and killed, murdered, one of our deputies. We need your help to get him off the street.”
Luna said it appears that Clinkunbroomer may have been targeted simply because he was a deputy in uniform, but that the investigation is still in its preliminary stages.
Clinkunbroomer was a field training officer who served at the Palmdale station since 2018, and was a third-generation deputy. “People absolutely loved and adored him,” Luna said. “His father served with us. His grandfather served with us. Service was running through his veins.”
Clinkunbroomer had just gotten engaged during the past week, and leaves behind his fiancée, his parents and grandparents. He was a 2010 graduate of West Ranch High School, where he ran cross country. He is listed on the school’s wall of honor, along with other West Ranch graduates who have gone into the military or become first responders.
County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who represents the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys, issued a statement Saturday evening in response to the fatal shooting of Clinkunbroomer.
“Words cannot describe my immense sorrow for the tragic loss of a brave deputy’s life tonight. My heart breaks for his family, his fellow officers, and the community at large,” Barger’s statement 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.”
Barger added: “Our law enforcement officers selflessly put their lives on the line daily when they put on their uniform. These brave professionals fall under harsh scrutiny, but it is undeniable that they risk their lives every day as they work to protect our communities. Today’s loss is a terrible reminder of that reality.”
Clinkunbroomer’s body was transported overnight from Palmdale to the L.A. County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office in Los Angeles, and the law enforcement caravan that accompanied the slain deputy’s body was saluted by first responders, including SCV firefighters and sheriff’s deputies, who gathered on overpasses along State Route 14 to pay their respects.
A candlelight vigil is set to honor his memory and will take place on Sunday night at 7 p.m. outside the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station, 750 E Avenue Q.
“The candlelight vigil will provide an opportunity for community members, law enforcement officers, friends and family to come together in a spirit of unity and support during this difficult time,” wrote the city of Palmdale on Instagram. “Candles will be provided for participants.”