A Palmdale man has been arrested in the shooting death of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, officials announced Monday.
Kevin Salazar, 29, was taken into custody around 5 a.m. after a standoff lasting several hours.
“We are extremely confident we have the right person in custody,” L.A. County Sheriff Robert Luna said in a Monday morning news conference.
Clinkunbroomer, 30, was found unconscious and suffering from gunshot wounds in his squad car near the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station at the intersection of Sierra Highway and Avenue Q around 6 p.m. Saturday.
He was pronounced dead after being taken to the Antelope Valley Medical Center.
Investigators believe he was ambushed and killed for no apparent reason, and Luna described the attacker as a “coward.”
Key evidence in the case showed a car pulling up to Clinkunbroomer’s patrol vehicle just before the shooting.
Images of the vehicle were widely circulated, along with a $250,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the shooting.
“He embodied the values of bravery, selflessness and an absolute commitment to justice,” Luna said during a Saturday night news conference. “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.”
The eight-year veteran of the force spent the last year-and-a-half as a training officer.
He was also recently engaged, having proposed to his fiancée just four days before his death.
About 1,000 people showed up at the sheriff’s station to hold a vigil for Clinkunbroomer Sunday night.
Bumper stickers with Clinkunbroomer’s picture reading “The bravest often fall by the hands of cowards. In loving memory of Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer” were being handed out at the sheriff’s station early Monday.