Hundreds of people gathered at Los Angeles County’s Palmdale Sheriff Station Sunday night for a vigil to honor the life of 30-year-old Deputy Ryan “Clink” Clinkunbroomer, killed in an ambush-style shooting over the weekend in the Antelope Valley.
Clinkunbroomer, 30, an eight-year veteran of the sheriff’s department, was found unconscious in his police cruiser and suffering from gunshot wounds by a citizen around 6 p.m. near the intersection of Sierra Highway and Avenue Q in Palmdale. He was rushed to the Antelope Valley Medical Center where he later died as a result of his injuries.
The shooting was an ambush involving a suspect or suspects in a vehicle driving past Deputy Clinkunbroomer when they fired at him. He was on duty and sitting in his squad car when the shooting took place.
From songs and prayers to a flyover above the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station, which was lit up in blue, mourners came out to add to a growing memorial to Deputy Clinkunbroomer and to find solace amid the grief.
“This event right here shows the committed people from this community that love our sheriff’s department and I hope that you will always respect the men and women in uniform that keep you safe each and every day,” Palmdale Mayor Laura Bettencourt said at the vigil.
The community banded together after one of their own was killed Saturday night right in front of the station.
Affectionately known as “Clink,” the 8-year veteran of the sheriff’s department came from a legacy of service. His father and grandfather both served with LASD.
“This loss, it’s weighing heavy on our employees,” Sheriff Robert Luna said, “especially with this young man, Ryan. He was just an amazing human being.”
The young deputy had recently gotten engaged within the last few days.
“My nephew is LAPD,” Palmdale resident Christina Contreras told KTLA. “Seeing him so young, close to him because my nephew is around the same age and nobody wants to put on that uniform and they do it every day without fail, without thinking of their own mortality.”
While there are still so many questions about why a tragedy like this could happen, Sunday night’s vigil was filled with love and respect for members of law enforcement.
“For those who wear the uniform, we’re thankful for you,” State Assemblymember Tom Lackey said at the podium, fighting back tears. “There’s work to be done to unify all of us. Let’s please let this tragedy be the impetus to bring us together.”
While most of the attendees at the vigil did not know the slain deputy, they said they wanted to be at the event to show their solidarity.