A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy was shot and killed in his patrol car while on duty in what officials described as a “targeted” attack.
Ryan Clinkunbroomer, 30, was found shot on Saturday evening after a “good samaritan” reported an officer “unconscious” inside his vehicle outside the Palmdale sheriff’s station, Sheriff Robert Luna said during a news conference.
The deputy was then transported to a local hospital and was treated for a gunshot wound but did not survive.
The suspect has not been caught, the sheriff said.
“He ambushed and killed — murdered — one of our deputies,” Mr Luna said, describing the suspect as a “public safety threat.”
Sheriff Luna said although the investigation is in the early stages, the shooting is believed to be a “targeted act.”
He speculated, “It could have been just the fact that he was representing the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as one of our employees. We don’t know.”
“He was just driving down the street 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.
“Our deputy was a devoted family member and a cherished community member. He was cowardly shot while working tirelessly to serve our community this evening.”
Mr Luna added that Clinkunbroomer had gotten engaged just four days before the incident. “He was just starting his life,” the sheriff said.
The sheriff also released a statement on Facebook, writing that the “eight-year veteran of the LASD” was “senselessly murdered tonight.”
“From everything I know about Ryan, people absolutely loved and adored him. He wasn’t just one of our Deputy Sheriffs. He was a third generation deputy. His father and grandfather served with us,” the statement read.
“Service was running through his veins. He embodied the values of bravery, selflessness and was committed to justice. Our deputy was a devoted family member and a cherished community member. He was cowardly shot while working tirelessly to serve our community this evening,” the sheriff added.