(KTLA) — A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy has died after being shot in his patrol car Saturday evening.
Authorities received reports of the shooting around 6 p.m. near the intersection of Sierra Avenue and Avenue Q in Palmdale, Sheriff Robert Luna said during a press conference late Saturday.
There, a good Samaritan reportedly found Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, 30, unconscious inside his patrol vehicle, Luna said.
Clinkunbroomer was driving while on duty when he was apparently fired upon by someone in a vehicle driving past him, Luna explained. The shooting was considered an ambush.
The deputy was transported in critical condition to the Antelope Valley Medical Center in Lancaster where he later died from his injuries. He leaves behind his fiancée, parents and grandparents.
Clinkunbroomer, who joined the Palmdale station in 2018, had gotten engaged four days prior to his death, said Luna. He comes from a family filled with generations of LASD deputies, including his father and grandfather.
“He embodied the values of bravery, selflessness and an absolute commitment to justice,” Luna said. “Our deputy was a devoted family member and a cherished member of our community who was cowardly shot while working tirelessly to serve our community. Our hearts absolutely go out to his family.”
Clinkunbroomer’s family was airlifted to the hospital from their Santa Clarita Valley home to be with him. A procession was held for the fallen deputy late Saturday night.
A vigil for Clinkunbroomer was scheduled for Sunday evening outside the Palmdale sheriff’s station.
No suspect information was available, but Luna said they believe the shooting may have been a targeted act. It’s unclear whether Clinkunbroomer or the department in general was the target.
They are seeking the public’s assistance to identify and locate the suspect who is deemed a public safety threat. A $250,000 reward is being offered.
The department released grainy surveillance video of a dark-colored sedan that pulled alongside the patrol car in the moments before the shooting. Luna said investigators believe the “vehicle of interest” is a gray Toyota Corolla manufactured between 2006 and 2012.
“We need your help in finding whoever murdered our deputy,” Luna pleaded with the public. “Somebody knows something. Somebody saw something. We need to get them off the streets before they hurt anyone else in the community or another deputy, sheriff or police officer.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom called the killing “horrific, unconscionable, and shocking.” He ordered flags at the state capitol flown at half-staff in honor of Clinkunbroomer.
No further details were released. Anyone with information is asked to call the LASD at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be submitted to L.A. Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.