A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputy died after he was shot in his patrol car Saturday evening by an unknown assailant, and an investigation is underway that the sheriff said will press all of the department’s resources into action.
Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, 30, died after being taken to a hospital, Sheriff Robert Luna said during a news conference late Saturday night.
The preliminary investigation showed Clinkunbroomer was driving while on duty and fired upon around 6 p.m., Luna said.
Clinkunbroomer was unconscious in the vehicle when he was found near the intersection of Sierra Highway and Avenue Q in Palmdale by a person Luna identified as a “good Samaritan” who alerted personnel at the Palmdale station of the sheriff's department.
The deputy was taken to Antelope Valley Medical Center in Lancaster, where he was treated for a gunshot wound.
“Despite the medical staff's best efforts to save our deputy's life, regrettably he succumbed to his injuries,” Luna said.
Homicide investigators are aware of video from a surveillance camera that may have captured the shooting, Luna said.
Luna said he believed the shooting was a “targeted attack.” But the motive, and whether the deputy or the department in general was the target, was not yet known.
“We’re going to catch the person who did this," Luna said. "Because every resource that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has to bear is going after you.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom called the killing “horrific, unconscionable, and shocking.” He ordered flags at the state capitol flown at half-staff 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 mourning, we honor this legacy and send our deepest sympathies 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 devotion to community and country will never be forgotten.”
The sheriff said his department was working closely with representatives from the city of Palmdale, about 61 miles (98 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles.
“Palmdale loves the sheriff’s deputies, and the deputies take very good care of Palmdale and love our community back," Mayor Laura Bettencourt said at the news conference. “The person that did this is a coward. and they will be caught.”
“It is sickening, heartbreaking news,” Republican state Sen. Scott Wilk, who represents Palmdale, posted Saturday evening on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
A vigil for Clinkunbroomer was scheduled for Sunday evening outside the Palmdale sheriff's station.