Dep. Ryan Clinkunbroomer graduated from West Ranch in 2010 and was a beloved cross country athlete.
STEVENSON RANCH, Calif. (KABC) -- Thirteen years ago, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer was just a teenager, spending his days as a student at West Ranch High School in Stevenson Ranch.
But that same school where he once roamed the halls as a young, cross country athlete felt a lot colder Thursday.
At the start of West Ranch's game against Valencia, students took to the field to honor Clinkunbroomer, who was shot and killed last week in an ambush outside of the Palmdale Sheriff's Station while he was on duty.
School staff said Clinkunbroomer, who graduated from West Ranch in 2010, left a legacy - one they all want to honor.
"It was nice to see that the community all united under the law enforcement officer, and it was nice that we all paid our respects and we all paid tribute to him," said Jonathan Valles, a cross country student athlete.
The man accused of killing Clinkunbroomer has since been charged with the murder, and the community is still trying to understand why this happened.
"It's really close to our family," said West Ranch Boys Cross Country Head Coach Gerry Perez. "I know all the kids that run cross country are really tight. It's a community, and we want to do the best that we can to support him and his family."
Clinkunbroomer left his mark on West Ranch High School, literally. His handprint is proudly displayed on the school's production studio wall with the nickname "Clink" right next to it.
His name is also included on a special Wall of Honor for students that go on to serve as military or law enforcement members.
"Ryan was the type of kid every parent wished was theirs," said an announcer at the game. "He was selfless ... and always wore an infectious smile on campus."
The cross country team said this season, they're running for Clinkunbroomer.
"I've talked to my teammates and we've said that this season, we need to work extra harder and represent West Ranch cross country even better, and represent the whole Santa Clarita Valley, stronger and represent his name, and make him proud," said Valles.
On Saturday, the team will have its first league meet. The team will have a moment of silence at the start of the race and will wear special ribbons in honor of Clinkunbroomer.