LASD deputy shot and killed in ambush attack in Palmdale; suspect arrested

A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy was shot and killed in Palmdale Saturday evening, and a suspect was arrested in connection with his ambush killing two days later. 

Reports of the shooting came in around 6 p.m. Saturday. The shooting happened outside the Palmdale Sheriff's station. 

According to Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna, 30-year-old Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer was sitting in his patrol car on duty, near the intersection of Sierra Highway and Avenue Q, when another car pulled up alongside his patrol car, and shot him in the head.

Luna said that a good Samaritan found Clinkunbroomer unconscious in his car and alerted other deputies. Clinkunbroomer was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.


Ryan Clinkunbroomer / LASD

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"He didn't deserve this," Luna said "This is so unfair. We're hurting because we lost somebody. It hurts bad. It sucks, just to put it bluntly. Our hearts absolutely go out to his family."

Luna struggled to hold back his emotions while discussing what he described as a targeted ambush killing.

"He was just driving down the street," Luna explained. "And for no apparent reason -- and we're still looking into the specific reasons -- somebody decided to shoot and murder him, I'm assuming at this point, because he was in uniform. That, to me, is sickening. That's not who this community is and that's why we stand up here collectively together really asking our community for your assistance as we move forward."

In a statement read by Luna, Clinkunbroomer's family called him a "dedicated, hardworking deputy sheriff who enjoyed working at the Palmdale station." 

"He was proud to work alongside his partners that he considered brothers and sisters, and he sacrificed daily. Ryan made the ultimate sacrifice in doing so. Ryan was recently engaged ot the love of his life. As our firstborn son, Ryan will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and the sheriff's department as a whole. Please keep Ryan's family, friends, and colleagues in your prayers and respect everyone's privacy during our time of mourning." 

The suspect, 29-year-old Kevin Cataneo Salazar, was arrested Monday morning after a standoff with authorities at the home he shared with his family in Palmdale.

"We believe we have the murderer of our deputy in custody," Luna said, adding that the department is "extremely confident" they arrested the sole suspect responsible. Luna urged the public to continue to come forward with any information as the investigation remains active and ongoing.

Video from the scene showed deputies appearing to fire a gas canister through a window, and a short time later, Salazar emerged from the home, with his arms stretched out by his sides. Following orders from deputies, he took off his shirt and slowly backed away from the home and was taken into custody. Additionally, the vehicle of interest as well as numerous firearms were also recovered at the home. 

The motive remains under investigation.

RELATED: LASD deputy murdered: Video appears to show moments before shooting

The last Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy shot and killed in the line of duty was Sgt. Steve Owen, 53, a 29-year department veteran who worked out of the Lancaster station and was shot while investigating a reported break-in on Oct. 5, 2016.


Investigators work the scene Sunday morning where an on-duty Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was shot and killed in a patrol vehicle near the Palmdale Los Angeles County Sheriff Station on Sierra Highway Saturday night in Palmdale Sunday, Sept. 1

Deputy Alejandro Martinez died on July 28, several months after he was struck by a wrong-way vehicle while training with dozens of colleagues near the sheriff's STARS Explorer Academy law enforcement training center in Whittier in November 2022. The driver, 22-year-old Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez of Diamond Bar, told reporters that he fell asleep at the wheel.

Deputy Steve Belanger died on Feb. 6, 2018, succumbing to a gunshot wound sustained on Dec. 10, 1994, when he was ambushed while conducting a traffic stop in the 18400 block of La Guardia Street in Rowland Heights. Doctors were unable to remove the bullet from Belanger's brain, and he remained under constant medical care and confined to a wheelchair until passing away in 2018.

Clinkunbroomer's fiancé has set up a donation page for those wishing to help the deputy's family in the aftermath of his death. That fundraiser can be found here.

City News Service contributed to this report.