LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who was gunned down in what authorities described as an ambush was mourned Thursday by his family, fiancée and hundreds of law enforcement officers who filled a downtown cathedral for his funeral Mass.
Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, 30, was shot Sept. 16 in his patrol vehicle while stopped at a red light near the sheriff’s station in the high desert city of Palmdale. A 29-year-old man is accused of shooting him from a car that pulled alongside.
During the eulogies at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Clinkunbroomer was remembered as a normal kid who grew up to continue his family’s multigenerational service to the sheriff’s department and was looking forward to marriage.
“Ryan was everything we look for in a deputy sheriff — integrity, a passion to serve, high emotional intelligence and a heart of a guardian — and yes, when needed, an absolute warrior,” said Sheriff Robert Luna.
Mourners heard about Clinkunbroomer’s marriage proposal to Brittany Lindsey just four days before he was killed. Lindsey, who is a nurse, told of how they discussed their wedding invitations before he went to work that day and how she later sent him a text that went unanswered.
“In a span of an hour, I went from planning my wedding with the love of my life to being escorted by a sheriff’s deputy to a helicopter to meet Ryan at the hospital,” she said.
“As a nurse, I have been in the room when families have had to withdraw care,” she said. “Never in my life did I think I would be on the other side. How do I go from planning a wedding to planning a funeral on the same day?”
Kevin Cataneo Salazar was arrested Sept. 18 after a standoff at his family’s home in Palmdale. He was identified as a suspect after video showing the car pulling alongside Clinkunbroomer was released and community members came forward with information.
Cataneo Salazar has been charged with one count of murder, plus special circumstance allegations of murder of a peace officer, murder committed by lying in wait, murder committed by firing from a car and personal use of a firearm.
At the arraignment, defense attorney George Rosenstock entered dual pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity on behalf of Cataneo Salazar.
His mother, Marle Salazar, told the Los Angeles Times her son was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic about five years ago.