Suspect arrested in ambush killing of 30-year-old deputy in Palmdale

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Monday, September 18, 2023
Alleged gunman in custody in shooting of Palmdale sheriff's deputy
The suspect accused of fatally shooting a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy in Palmdale has been arrested.

PALMDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- The suspect accused of shooting and killing a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy while he was in his patrol vehicle in Palmdale has been arrested, authorities confirmed.

Kevin Cataneo Salazar, 29, was taken into custody early Monday morning after barricading himself in a home for several hours, Sheriff Robert Luna said during a press conference.

"Thirty-six hours after the murder of our deputy, the men and women of our department arrested him early this morning."

Luna said community members came forward on Sunday with information that led homicide detectives to identify the then-outstanding suspect.

On Monday, authorities served a search warrant at a home on Barrinson Street. They surrounded the property and called all the occupants out but Salazar barricaded himself inside.

"They deployed chemical agents and the suspect ultimately surrendered," Luna said. "Investigators recovered numerous firearms and the vehicle of interest that was depicted in the flyer that we put out yesterday."

Video shows the moment that person was taken into custody in a residential area of Palmdale around 5 a.m. Monday.

Salazar is accused of shooting Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, a 30-year-old field training officer, as he sat inside his vehicle just outside the Palmdale Sheriff's Station on Saturday.

Luna said a good Samaritan found the deputy unconscious inside the car. Clinkunbroomer was quickly rushed to the Antelope Valley Medical Center in Lancaster where he later died.

A motive for the shooting remains unclear. Investigators have not determined if the ambush was personal, related to his job or a random incident just because Clinkunbroomer was in a marked patrol car.

Luna said detectives are still working the case, and anyone with additional video from the area at the time of the shooting is asked to contact them at 323-890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Dep. Ryan Clinkunbroomer, a 30-year-old field training officer, was shot just outside the Palmdale Sheriff's Station. He died at the hospital.

Who was Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer?

According to Luna, Clinkunbroomer was an eight-year veteran of the department and had been with the Palmdale station since July 2018.

He had been working as a field training officer for the past year and a half.

"Not just anybody becomes a field training officer, it's usually the best of the best," Luna said over the weekend.

Clinkunbroomer came from a law enforcement family. Luna said his grandfather and father both had worked for the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

"Service was running through his veins ... so unfair," said Luna. "He embodied the values of bravery, selflessness and an absolute commitment to justice."

Luna also said Clinkunbroomer had just celebrated his engagement about four days before he was killed.

"He was just starting his life," said Luna.

He was honored during a candlelight vigil outside the Palmdale sheriff's station Sunday night.