The search is on for a car seen driving next to the Los Angeles sheriff’s deputy who was ambushed and fatally shot, officials say
By Nouran Salahieh
(CNN) — Investigators are looking for a car seen in surveillance video driving near a Los Angeles sheriff’s deputy who was ambushed and fatally shot in his patrol car over the weekend, authorities said.
Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, 30, was shot Saturday while on duty at an intersection near the sheriff’s station in Palmdale, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The deputy, who’d gotten engaged only four days earlier, was found unconscious by a civilian around 6 p.m. and pronounced dead at a hospital, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said.
“This coward or cowards took his life while he’s sitting at a red light, waiting to serve our community,” Luna said at a Sunday news conference.
Widely circulated video captured a vehicle – described as a 2006 to 2012 dark gray Toyota Corolla – driving next to Clinkunbroomer’s patrol vehicle, Luna said, and the sheriff’s department on Sunday released photos of what it called a “vehicle of interest.” The car is believed to have been used in the shooting, a law enforcement source told CNN.
The shooting appears to have been targeted, the sheriff said, though it’s not known who opened fire on Clinkunbroomer or what motivated the attack.
“He was just driving down the street,” Luna said Saturday, “and for no apparent reason – and we’re still looking into the specific reasons – somebody decided to shoot and murder him, I’m assuming at this point, because he was in uniform.”
There have been 83 ambush-style attacks on law enforcement in 2023, with 101 officers shot – 15 of them fatally, according to a September 5 report from the Fraternal Order of Police. Saturday’s shooting comes three years after two Los Angeles deputies were shot ambush-style at a train station while sitting in their patrol vehicle.
The LA County sheriff has pleaded with the public to share any footage that may show the attack on Clinkunbroomer in Palmdale, about 60 miles north of Los Angeles.
“Look at your video and make sure that you didn’t capture anything that could be the missing puzzle to apprehending the suspect,” Luna said. “I beg you. Somebody has information. Please make things right.”
A reward of up to $250,000 will be offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who killed Clinkunbroomer, authorities announced Sunday. “I’m challenging people’s character out there: to find this act absolutely unacceptable and come forward,” Luna said.
Deputy had just gotten engaged
Clinkunbroomer, a beloved member of the sheriff’s department, “was just starting his life,” the sheriff said Saturday, referring to the late deputy’s recent engagement.
Clinkunbroomer had been with the department for eight years and transferred to the Palmdale sheriff’s station in 2018. He was serving as a field training officer.
His father and grandfather both served in the sheriff’s department, Luna said.
“Service was running through his veins. He embodied the values of bravery, selflessness and was committed to justice,” Luna said in a Facebook post. “Our deputy was a devoted family member and a cherished community member.”
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