LA County Sheriff's Department makes arrest in fatal ambush shooting of sheriff

The suspect has been identified as 29-year-old Kevin Salazar, of Palmdale, California. 

Published: September 18, 2023 11:48am

Updated: September 18, 2023 3:27pm

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Monday announced an arrest in the fatal ambush shooting of a deputy over the weekend.

"We are extremely confident we have the right person in custody," Sheriff Robert Luna said at a press conference.

The suspect has been identified as 29-year-old Kevin Salazar, of Palmdale, California. 

Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer was killed Saturday while in his patrol car, when Salazar allegedly pulled his vehicle beside Clinkunbroomer's vehicle and fatally shot him.

Luna said investigators do not have a motive.

"We don't know yet, but we intend to find out," Luna said. "He was murdered by a coward."

Police, who had a surveillance camera video of the drive-by ambush, said they received a tip Sunday that led to the arrest. The video showed a dark gray 2006-2012 Toyota Corolla pull up beside the patrol car, then speed away.

Salazar initial barricaded himself inside his home, until a police tactical unit forced him from the residence with tear gas. 

Clinkunbroomer was murdered at about 6 p.m. Saturday while he was in his uniform and had just driven away from the Palmdale Sheriff Station in a marked patrol vehicle.

A "Good Samaritan" found Clinkunbroomer unconscious at an intersection with a gunshot wound, and he was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, officials said.

Clinkunbroomer had worked for the sheriff's department for about eight years, following the example of his father and grandfather, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said. Clinkunbroomer had gotten engaged less than a week before he was killed.

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