Person of interest detained in ambush killing of LA County sheriff’s deputy

LOS ANGELES — A person of interest has been detained in the ambush killing of a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who was shot in the head near the Palmdale station Saturday night, law enforcement sources told The Times.

Few details were available, but authorities had launched a massive manhunt since the brazen killing, which was captured on surveillance video.

A video shows Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer steering his patrol cruiser onto Sierra Highway and stopping at a red light outside the Palmdale sheriff’s station. Clinkunbroomer was dressed in his sheriff’s uniform and on duty patrolling the high desert community of Palmdale, just north of Los Angeles.

Seconds later, a dark gray Toyota Corolla can be seen pulling up behind the marked black-and-white cruiser and pausing, according to security video shared with The Times.

The sedan then pulls alongside the driver’s side of the cruiser. It pauses again, then speeds off. Clinkunbroomer’s vehicle drifts a foot or two.

In those seconds, authorities said, the deputy was shot in the head. He died from his injuries hours later. Clinkunbroomer was 30 years old.

Investigators worked through the night and all day Sunday, reviewing evidence, including surveillance footage, and interviewing potential witnesses. Law enforcement officials at the local, state and federal levels had offered assistance. On Sunday, they cited a “vehicle of interest” — the dark-colored Corolla, manufactured between 2006 and 2012.


Sheriff Robert Luna on Sunday called the slaying a “targeted act” and asserted that Clinkunbroomer might have been killed because he worked in law enforcement.

“Somebody decided to shoot and murder him, I’m assuming at this point, because he was in uniform,” Luna said.

A passerby found the deputy unconscious in his vehicle at Avenue Q and Sierra Highway around 6 p.m., officials said. Fellow deputies took him in critical condition to Antelope Valley Medical Center in Lancaster, and he died as physicians attempted to treat his gunshot wound.