The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed Saturday night that a deputy was “found in medical distress in front of the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station” about 6 p.m. and was transported to a nearby hospital. The department later said the deputy was shot in his patrol car, and despite the best efforts of medical personnel he died of his injuries.
Sheriff Robert Luna, during a late-night news conference at Antelope Valley Medical Center in Lancaster, identified the deputy who died as Ryan Clinkunbroomer, 30, an eight-year deputy, a training officer at LASD and a third-generation law enforcement officer.
The initial investigation indicated Clinkunbroomer, on duty and in his patrol vehicle, was driving when it appeared he was fired upon about 6 p.m. at Sierra Highway and Avenue Q, Luna said.
“We really need your help. We need to get this guy off the street. Guy or guys. He’s a public safety threat,” Luna said, noting the department is aware of video on social media that appears to show a suspect vehicle drive up behind the patrol vehicle, then pull alongside momentarily before speeding away. Detectives were analyzing the video.
Luna asked any other witnesses, especially those with video that may show the events related to the shooting, to come forward. LASD homicide detectives can be reached at 323 890-5500.
“I think it was a targeted act, but we’re still in the early stages of this investigation,” Luna said, describing the shooting as “cowardly.”
“He was discovered unconscious in his vehicle by a good Samaritan” who reported the trouble to the LASD Palmdale station, Luna said.
“He served the Palmdale and Antelope Valley community with absolute distinction,” Luna said of Clinkunbroomer. “Our deputy left his family tonight to serve our community. He laid it all on the line to serve us. He didn’t deserve this.”
UPDATE: Eyewitness News has learned the deputy was shot in Palmdale and remains hospitalized in an unknown condition. #developing #breakingnews Latest details here: https://t.co/yg7JRwXAHl pic.twitter.com/c6x7gGidH7
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) September 17, 2023
A social media post showed deputies, having been alerted by the Good samaritan, pulling the injured deputy out of a patrol vehicle and loading him into an ambulance.
A videographer at the scene reported that the deputy went down in front of the station and was initially transported in a patrol vehicle, then via ambulance to the medical center in Lancaster. He added that Sierra Highway was blocked off from Technology Drive to Palmdale Boulevard, among other area closures, including Sixth Street East between Avenue Q and Palmdale Boulevard.
“The shooting of an LASD deputy in his patrol car in Palmdale today is senseless and horrific,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn in a post on X. “Tonight I’m praying for him, his friends, fellow deputies at the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station, and especially his loved ones.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Palmdale deputy that was ambushed while sitting inside his police vehicle,” said a post from the LAPD Harbor Division X account.
— Supervisor Kathryn Barger (@kathrynbarger) September 17, 2023
SCNG reporter Emily Holshouser and City News Service contributed to this story.