Los Angeles Daily News – Article by Clara Harter (firstname.lastname@example.org)/Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer
On Sunday evening, a little more than a week since Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer was killed, a crowd more than 300 strong gathered in Santa Clarita’s Marketplace Park to remember his life and mourn his untimely passing.
Clinkunbroomer, 30, was fatally shot inside his patrol vehicle just steps from the Palmdale Sheriff Station on Saturday, Sept. 16. Kevin Salazar, 29, was charged with murder and pleaded not guilty on grounds of insanity on Wednesday, Sept. 20. Salazar’s family has said that he suffers from schizophrenia.
Clinkunbroomer’s untimely death has shaken both the community of Palmdale, where he worked, and of Santa Clarita, where he spent many of his formative years.
“Tonight we want to focus on the life that he lived for those that he loved and for the men and women in uniform, who were tragically reminded, once again, of the sacrifices they make every single day to protect our communities,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Jason Gibbs. “To his family, his fiancee, his friends and his law enforcement colleagues we stand with you, united in grief for his loss and love for his memory.
Clinkunbroomer was a devoted deputy and a fourth-generation member of the L.A. County Sheriffs Department.
“Ryan will never be forgotten; He will be remembered as our hero,” said L.A. County Sheriff Robert Luna. “Just like his father, grandfather and great grandfather and his mother who served with us.”
Luna appeared at once deep in grief and resolute in anger, vowing to seek justice for Clinkunbroomer and his family.
“We’re going to give it our all at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to make sure that the District Attorney’s Office does everything they can to make sure the individual, the coward, that committed this act serves nothing less than the absolute maximum punishment offered by the State of California,” he said.
The vigil began with the setting of the sun and the raising of an American flag as the marching band from Clinkunbroomer’s alma mater, West Ranch High School, performed the national anthem. As dusk’s lavender sky faded to a deep navy, the crowd was illuminated by a sea of prayer candles in honor of the fallen deputy.
“Ryan was a beloved son, grandson, brother, a cherished fiance and friend and an integral part of this incredible place called Santa Clarita, a community that respects law enforcement and supports them each and every day, 365 days of the year, and supports their families as well,” said L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “His loss is felt widely and deeply.”
Clinkunbroomer’s death has touched hearts across L.A. County and far beyond.
The Miami Dolphins of the NFL dedicated Sunday night’s football game to Clinkunbroomer, who was a life-long fan of the team. Several friends of Clinkunbroomer wore Dolphin jerseys at the vigil in his honor. In Miami, the Dolphins rolled up a 70-20 win over the Denver Broncos in Clinkunbroomer’s honor.
Clinkunbroomer was a dedicated deputy and in the early years of what his coworkers say was gearing up to be a long and fruitful career.
“Ryan had all that was needed to be an incredible training officer,” said Barger. “He was professional, ethical, motivated and an excellent communicator. He took pride in his work. It was his passion. Many say it was his calling.”
Although he was one of the station’s younger deputies, Ryan stood out as a leader, officials said. He was always eager to offer a helping hand, a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on.
“Ryan showed up to work daily with a big affectionate smile on his face. He had a big heart and cared deeply about those around him, his family, partners and the community served,” said Palmdale Sheriffs Station Captain Joshua Barton. “He was truly a pleasure to work with and all of us are grateful to have known him.”
The slain deputy was also about to embark on an exciting chapter in life: marriage. He had proposed to his longtime girlfriend Brittany Lindsey mere days before his death.
“God bless Ryan, God bless his beautiful fiancee Brittany, his family, his parents; this is not something any family should have to endure,” said Congressman Mike Garcia.
The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff’s (ALADS) is collecting donations for Deputy Clinkunbroomer’s family through their C.A.R.E.S. (Cops and Relatives Emergency Support) Foundation at alads.org/Donate.