PALMDALE, CA – A man believed to be responsible for the death of a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy was taken into custody on Monday following a tense standoff. The individual, 29-year-old Kevin Salazar, had locked himself inside a Palmdale residence, initially refusing to surrender to law enforcement, as per Sheriff Robert Luna.
The standoff on Barrinson Street lasted several hours before deputies used chemical agents to coax Salazar out of the house. Sheriff Luna commended the deputies for their patience and professionalism in handling the situation, ensuring Salazar was taken into custody without further incident.
Salazar, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and is on medication, is the prime suspect in the murder of Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer. The deputy was discovered unconscious in his vehicle on Saturday evening in a suburb over 60 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. Despite immediate medical attention, Clinkunbroomer did not survive.
The investigation into Clinkunbroomer’s death led authorities to a dark-colored Toyota Corolla seen in the vicinity of the deputy’s vehicle prior to the shooting. Images of the car were unknowingly circulated by Salazar’s family, who were unaware of their kin’s alleged involvement.
Clinkunbroomer, a third-generation deputy, had just departed from the station when he was found near Sierra Highway and Avenue Q. A video clip that captured a car pulling up next to the patrol car before speeding away is a central piece of the ongoing investigation.
Sheriff Luna did not disclose the specifics of how investigators connected Salazar to the deputy’s murder, but did mention that tips from the public were instrumental. A number of weapons were found at Salazar’s residence, but his family did not provide details on how he acquired them.
The motive behind Clinkunbroomer’s murder is yet to be determined. L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who represents the area where the incident took place, has called for a thorough investigation into the events leading up to the shooting.
Salazar’s mental health issues were known to local sheriff’s deputies, who had previously been called to the family’s home. However, Sheriff Luna refrained from commenting on whether mental health was a factor in the incident.
Clinkunbroomer, who had recently become engaged, was a respected field training officer. His family remembered him as a proud servant of his community, who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.