LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Funeral services were held Thursday for the Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who was gunned down in his patrol vehicle last month near the Palmdale sheriff's station.
Ryan Clinkunbroomer, a 30-year-old, third-generation deputy who was only recently engaged to be married, was laid to rest in a private ceremony following the Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, which was led by Archbishop José Gomez.
Hundreds of law enforcement personnel, including Sheriff Robert Luna, arrived at the cathedral in downtown Los Angeles to pay their respects at the morning remembrance. The cathedral was filled to capacity with deputies, officers, dignitaries and family who described him as the quintessential deputy, friend and fiancé.
"I know he left this world full of love," Clinkunbroomer's fiancée, Brittany Lindsey, said as she fought back tears. "He was ready to commit his life to me and I was ready to commit mine to him. I would give anything in the world to have him here. I wish I could kiss him, hug him, tell him one last time that I love him. He's the best guy I've ever met and my best friend.
"He didn't deserve this. I will never understand why this happened to him. He loved his job. He went to work every day with a smile, and he was so proud to take care of his community. He's a real hero," she said.
Several of Clinkunbroomer's deputy colleagues spoke of their friendship and of his dedication to his work, friends and family.
"This bond I had with him -- it's going to be hard to have that bond with somebody else," said Deputy Andrew De La Rosa, who referred to Clinkunbroomer by his nickname. "Clink was perfect when it came to patrol. He did everything right, everything by the book. And he was smooth, very smooth with what he did.
"When you saw Clink, you knew it was going to be handled perfectly," De La Rosa said.
Clinkunbroomer's father, Michael, told stories about his son growing up and following in his family's footsteps into the sheriff's department -- and his pride in his son's success.
"We're not saying goodbye, Ryan, but we're saying thank you," he said. "I'm saying thank you, Ryan, for making me a better human being. Thank you, Ryan, for your love of life. Your mother and I will always miss you. I'll see you one day in heaven. You're my hero."
Clinkunbroomer was shot around 6 p.m Sept. 16 while sitting in his patrol car at a traffic light near the station at Sierra Highway and East Avenue Q.
Video from the scene showed a dark-colored sedan pulling up behind the patrol SUV, then slowly pulling alongside the driver's side of the deputy's vehicle, pausing, then driving away.
Sheriff's officials said a good Samaritan stopped to render aid after the shooting and the wounded deputy was taken to Antelope Valley Medical Center in grave condition. He was pronounced dead that night.
Clinkunbroomer's alleged killer, Kevin Eduardo Cataneo Salazar, 29, of Palmdale, was arrested two days after the killing, following a standoff at his family's home. He was charged with murder and has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
City News Service contributed to this report.