Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
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A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed in a suspected ambush attack on Saturday night, according to police.
Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, 30, was found unconscious around 6 p.m. by a passerby in Palmdale, California – about 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The citizen allegedly discovered Clinkunbroomer inside his patrol car in "medical distress" near the Palmdale Sheriff's Station. The individual reportedly went to the station to inform police of the wounded officer.
Clinkunbroomer was initially taken to the hospital in his cruiser, but an ambulance caught up with the vehicle and rushed the wounded deputy to Antelope Valley Medical Center in Lancaster. He was initially listed in critical condition before later dying at the hospital from a gunshot wound to the back of the head.
Clinkunbroomer joined LASD's Palmdale station in 2018 and served as a field training officer for nearly two years.
He was a third-generation deputy – following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.
"Service was running through his veins. He embodied the values of bravery, selflessness, and committed to justice," said L.A. County Sheriff Robert Luna. "Our deputy was a devoted family member and a cherished community member."
Clinkunbroomer leaves behind his fiancée, parents, and grandparents. He got engaged to his girlfriend just four days before his tragic death.
"Our hearts go out to his family. We cannot fully understand their pain, but we will stand with them in solidarity and support them during this difficult time," Luna added. "They deserve unwavering compassion, and we will do everything in our power to provide them with assistance and care."
Luna said, "From everything I know about Ryan, people absolutely loved and adored him."
Luna said during a press conference, "We really need your help. We need to get this guy off the street — guy or guys. He ambushed and killed one of our deputies. We need your help to get him off the street."
Luna believes that the ambush killing was a targeted shooting.
"I think it was a targeted act based on what we know now, but we’re still in the extremely early stages of this investigation," Luna stated. "It could have been just the fact that he was representing the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as one of our employees. We don’t know."
"I'm assuming at this point because he was in uniform. That, to me, is sickening," Luna declared.
The sheriff said Clinkunbroomer was "just driving down the street" when "somebody decided to shoot and murder him."
"He was cowardly shot while working tirelessly to serve our community this evening," Luna said.
Security video obtained by KTTV appears to show a black car pulling up alongside Clinkunbroomer's police vehicle that was stopped at a red light. Police suspect that is the moment the deputy was senselessly shot. The car is seen speeding away.
As of Sunday morning, the gunman remains at large.
Police have not released any information about the potential suspect.
Sheriff Luna vowed to "use all of our resources to bring the suspects responsible for the murder of Deputy Clinkunbroomer to justice."
Anyone with information about the police shooting is urged to contact LASD homicide detectives at 323-890-5500, or CrimeStoppers at 1-800 222 tips.
As of Sept. 5, there have been 83 ambush-style attacks on 101 law enforcement officers this year – 15 officers have been killed, according to the Fraternal Order of Police.
There have been 272 police officers shot in the line of duty this year (+24% from 2021 YTD; +25% from 2020 YTD), and 34 were killed.
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Paul Sacca is a staff writer for Blaze News.