Friday, June 14, 2024

‘I could just see this light inside him’ — Fallen Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer honored at vigil

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Community leaders, family, residents and law enforcement personnel gathered Sunday evening, Sept. 17 to honor a deputy who was shot and killed while sitting in his patrol vehicle at a red light in Palmdale over the weekend.

Around 300 people gathered for a vigil, which started at about 7 p.m., outside the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s station in Palmdale — where Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer had served since 2018.

Candles decorated the perimeter of the station, and fire engines lined up along Sierra Highway early in the evening. Before the vigil began, a sheriff’s helicopter circled overhead.

Palmdale residents Diane and Gene Jaimieson arrived early in the evening to pay their respects to the fallen deputy, a third-generation law enforcer.

“Its just such a tragedy,” Diane, 74, said while standing near a flower memorial erected by a traffic light next to the station. “To be so close to your safety net and still not be safe.”

“My heart aches for his family. This is a cruel, evil world we live in,” she said.

  • Los Angeles Sheriff Robert Luna attends a vigil for Los...

    Los Angeles Sheriff Robert Luna attends a vigil for Los Angeles Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer at the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station on Sunday, September 17, 2023 after the training officer was shot and killed in his patrol car outside the station. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • People gather for a vigil for Los Angeles Deputy Ryan...

    People gather for a vigil for Los Angeles Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer at the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station on Sunday, September 17, 2023 after the training officer was was shot and killed in his patrol car outside the station. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • People gather for a vigil for Los Angeles Deputy Ryan...

    People gather for a vigil for Los Angeles Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer at the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station on Sunday, September 17, 2023 after the training officer was shot and killed in his patrol car outside the station. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • People gather for a vigil for Los Angeles Deputy Ryan...

    People gather for a vigil for Los Angeles Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer at the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station on Sunday, September 17, 2023 after the training officer was shot and killed in his patrol car outside the station. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • People gather for a vigil for Los Angeles Deputy Ryan...

    People gather for a vigil for Los Angeles Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer at the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station on Sunday, September 17, 2023 after the training officer was shot and killed in his patrol car outside the station. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • People gather for a vigil for Los Angeles Deputy Ryan...

    People gather for a vigil for Los Angeles Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer at the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station on Sunday, September 17, 2023 after the training officer was shot and killed in his patrol car outside the station. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • People gather for a vigil for Los Angeles Deputy Ryan...

    People gather for a vigil for Los Angeles Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer at the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station on Sunday, September 17, 2023 after the training officer was shot and killed in his patrol car outside the station. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Lisa Schick, of Santa Clarita, sheds tears for Los Angeles...

    Lisa Schick, of Santa Clarita, sheds tears for Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer outside the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station on Sunday, September 17, 2023 where he was shot and killed. Schick is a family friend.(Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Miguel Ruiz, center, and his wife Sara, seated, attend a...

    Miguel Ruiz, center, and his wife Sara, seated, attend a vigil for Los Angeles Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer at the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station on Sunday, September 17, 2023 after the training officer was shot and killed in his patrol car outside the station. The Ruiz’ son is a deputy at the Palmdale station. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna announces on Sunday, September...

    Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna announces on Sunday, September 17, 2023 a $250,000 reward in the killing of Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer who was shot outside the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station on Saturday. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna announces on Sunday, September...

    Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna announces on Sunday, September 17, 2023 a $250,000 reward in the killing of Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer who was shot outside the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station on Saturday. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger says she is going...

    Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger says she is going to request $100,000 on Sunday, September 17, 2023 towards the $250,000 reward in the killing of Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer who was shot outside the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station on Saturday. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • People gather outside the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Palmdale...

    People gather outside the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Palmdale station on Sunday, September 17, 2023 to mourn Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer who was shot and killed outside the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station on Saturday. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna announces on Sunday, September...

    Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna announces on Sunday, September 17, 2023 a $250,000 reward in the killing of Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer who was shot outside the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station on Saturday. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer died after...

    Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer died after he was shot in his patrol car Saturday evening, Sept. 16, 2023 in Palmdale. (Courtesy of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

  • Karlee Latka, 25, of Santa Clarita, leaves flowers for Los...

    Karlee Latka, 25, of Santa Clarita, leaves flowers for Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer outside the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station on Sunday, September 17, 2023 where he was shot and killed. Latka is a family friend. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Clinkunbroomer, 30, was shot and killed around 6 p.m. on Saturday while sitting in his patrol vehicle at a red light at the intersection of Sierra Highway and Avenue Q, right next to the sheriff’s station.

“Such a young soul. Leaving this world when his life was just getting started,” Gene, 76, said. “A family that gave their lives to protecting us and this is how it’s repaid.”

“Makes my blood boil over,” he said.

The suspect, or suspects, remain at large while police continue to comb through evidence and search for a dark gray, 2006-2012 Toyota Corolla, which has been described by authorities as a vehicle of interest.

Late Saturday, law enforcement staged a procession to escort Clinkunbroomer’s casket from Antelope Valley Medical Center in Lancaster to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.

“He didn’t deserve this,” Sheriff Robert Luna said during a news conference Sunday afternoon. “This is so unfair. We’re hurting because we lost somebody. It hurts bad. It sucks, just to put it bluntly. Our hearts absolutely go out to his family.”

Clinkunbroomer, or “Clink,” as he was affectionately called by his colleagues, came from a family of law enforcement, with his father and grandfather both having served as deputies. He had served with the Sheriff’s Department for eight years, and had been a field training officer for a year and a half.

”I’d gotten to know him loosely over the years seeing him around in the city,” said 58-year-old Raymond Wilson. “And I could just see this light inside him. He held this community in such regard and you could tell he wanted to make it even better. Safer.”

Clinkunbroomer had also just become engaged four days before the shooting.

“Clink embodied the values we hold dear as a community,” said Palmdale Mayor Laura Bettencourt. “The values of service, protection and the commitment to keep us safe.”

Bettencourt, alongside with other officials, announced on Sunday rewards totaling $250,000 for critical information in the ambush slaying of the third-generation deputy.

The vigil ended with a brief moment of silence, with the crowd joining together to sing “Amazing Grace.”

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