Investigators searched for clues Sunday after the ambush and slaying of a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy, as expressions of grief poured in about the officer’s dedication to public service.
The deputy, Ryan Clinkunbroomer, 30, was found unconscious Saturday evening by a passerby with a gunshot wound, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said. The deputy stopped in his patrol boat near the sheriff’s station in Palmdale, Calif., about 60 miles north of Los Angeles.
Deputy Klingonbrummer, who was on duty and in uniform, was shot as he left the Palmdale station at a red light, authorities said. He was rushed to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
At a news conference Sunday, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said it was unclear if there was more than one suspect and that authorities did not know a motive. But authorities described the “vehicle of interest” as a 2006-2012 dark gray Toyota Corolla and announced a $250,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest and prosecution.
“Please, I’m begging you. Someone has information,” he said. “Please make things right.”
Sheriff Luna had previously said “homicide squads, major crime squads, gang squads” were investigating the shooting. He said investigators believed the killing was captured on surveillance video and were examining video circulating online to determine if it was related to the shooting.
Sheriff Luna said Deputy Klingonbrumer, who was transferred to the Palmdale station in July 2018, followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and father and worked for the sheriff’s department for about eight years. For the past year and a half, he has trained and supervised representatives. “No one will be alone Field Training Officer,” said Sheriff Luna. “It’s usually the best of the best.”
“Our deputy was a devoted family member and a cherished community member,” said Sheriff Luna. Report.
Deputy Klingonbrummer was engaged four days ago, he added.
News of the slayings shook officials and residents in Palmdale, a hot, dry city of about 160,000 people in northeast Los Angeles County. Laura Bettencourt, the city’s mayor, called Deputy Klingonbrummer a “hero” at a news conference Saturday night and vowed to catch the man who shot him, calling him a “coward.”
A Report published On X, the site formerly known as Twitter, the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station said Deputy Klingonbrumer “strived for excellence in everything he did” and that he “genuinely cared for the community he served.”
Sunday afternoon in Palmdale, many people stopped by the sheriff’s station to pay their respects. A memorial with flowers and candles has sprung up on the sidewalk outside the station at the intersection of Avenue Q and Sierra Highway where Deputy Klingonbrummer was shot.
The shooting range and sheriff’s station sit next to a few low-rise homes, with some fences in need of repair. Yellow vans advertising bail bonds are parked in a yard with other vehicles.
Michael Berpier, 53, a retired Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy, came with his wife, Yesenia, from their home in Santa Clarita, about 40 miles away.
“I’ve lost many friends and colleagues killed in the line of duty, and this brings me back to them and how important law enforcement is to the community,” said Mr. said Berpier.
Residents placed flowers in front of a police cruiser blocking Avenue Q.
Officials and clergy urged the Antelope Valley community to come together Sunday night for a vigil outside the sheriff’s station, affectionately known as “The Clink.”
Fire trucks lined Sierra Highway adjacent to the station, its walls lit blue, and several hundred people gathered on the lawn and in the area in front of the facility. Around 30 minutes into the vigil, those gathered were asked to light candles or hold their phones in the air. Mostly everyone did.
Brenda Grosso, whose son is a Los Angeles police officer and family law deputy, attended with her 11-year-old daughter Marion. They were giving out candles that came with a blue blanket.
“We prayed for the family,” Ms. Grosso, Deputy Klingonbrumer, is devastated and scared for their loved ones, especially because they know what it’s like to be a law enforcement family.
“We don’t want to get that call,” he said.
According to statistics released by the FBI, five officers killed in the line of duty have died in situations described as “ambush” through August of this year. Last year, 12 officers were killed on duty in similar situations; Eight people were killed in 2021 and nine in 2020.
Palmdale has a recent history of tension between law enforcement and the community. In 2015, the US Department of Justice and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced a solution The investigation, which included several police reforms in Palmdale and the nearby city of Lancaster, found patterns of excessive use of force, biased policing practices and illegal searches and seizures.
Monitors overseeing reforms in Palmdale and Lancaster have documented a lack of progress over the past two years toward goals set by the settlement, including resistance to change and denial of accountability. theirs Report This year it cited several areas that needed improvement, including day-to-day interactions with the public, but it recognized “new signs of commitment to reforms” and better communication and transparency.
Tiffany May Contributed report.