A sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot in his patrol car in Palmdale, Calif., on Saturday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
A passer-by found the deputy, Ryan Clinkunbroomer, unconscious near Palmdale Sheriff’s Station around 6 p.m. He was rushed to a hospital, where he died from his injuries.
Sheriff Robert Luna said at a news conference that the police were investigating the episode and urged witnesses with information to contact homicide investigators or leave an anonymous tip. He added that investigators believed that the killing was captured on surveillance video and were analyzing a video that had been circulating online to determine whether it was related.
Officer Clinkunbroomer, 30, who was transferred to the Palmdale station in July 2018, had worked in the sheriff’s department for about eight years, Sheriff Luna said, following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father. For the past year and a half, he also trained and supervised deputies. “Not just anybody becomes a field training officer,” he said. “It’s usually the best of the best.”
“From everything I know about Ryan, people absolutely loved and adored him,” Sheriff Luna said in a statement. “Our deputy was a devoted family member and a cherished community member.”
Officer Clinkunbroomer had gotten engaged just four days earlier, Sheriff Luna added.
In a news conference on Saturday night, the mayor of Palmdale, Laura Bettencourt, called Officer Clinkunbroomer a “hero” and vowed that the person who shot him, whom she called a “coward,” would be caught.
In a statement posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Palmdale Sheriff’s Station said that Officer Clinkunbroomer “strived for excellence in everything he did,” adding that he “genuinely cared for the community he served.”
Also in a statement on X, State Senator Scott Wilk, who represents Palmdale, called the news “sickening” and “heartbreaking.”