An official announced the perpetrator’s arrest in the murder of a recently engaged police officer working for Los Angeles County early Monday morning.
Kevin Salazar, 29, was taken into custody in Palmdale, California, after barricading inside his home and waiting for police to arrive with an arrest warrant.
According to LASD Sheriff Rober Luna, SWAT officers and hostage specialists negotiated with Salazar for “many hours” before chemical deterrents were shot into the home when Salazar surrendered.
Luna said his deputies gave the suspect a chance to surrender without violence. Three days prior, his deputy was not afforded that same right.
It is believed that on Saturday night, Salazar drove up next to the patrol car of Ryan Clinkunbroomer, 30, a third-generation LASD officer, and shot him through the window. Clinkunbroomer was only four days into his engagement when he was murdered.
The motive for the shooting is unknown, but investigators are “very certain” they have the right guy in custody.
Luna remarked that they do not know yet why he was killed,” echoing earlier speculation that Clinkunbroomer had been murdered just because he was a police officer.
Salazar’s arrest came three days after the homicide. According to Luna, the public’s help identifying the suspect based on the car seen at the crime scene was important.
Many of Salazar’s relatives fled voluntarily before the standoff began when police arrived at the house. Whether any of them will be charged is still up in the air.
Salazar’s house also had several guns taken from it.
Despite emergency transport to the Antelope Valley Medical Center, Clinkunbroomer ultimately succumbed to his wounds.
Clinkunbroomer, according to the investigators, was likely ambushed and murdered in cold blood.
The sheriff’s office reviewed surveillance footage of the moments before the incident and saw a dark gray Toyota Corolla pull up to the deputy’s police car at a red light.
There was a $25,000 reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of the gunman, and the sheriff’s office had already issued images of the suspicious vehicle.
Clinkunbroomer had served for eight years, the last two and a half of which she spent as a field training officer.
His grandfather and father were both deputies before he joined the force.
On Sunday night, a vigil was held outside the Palmdale sheriff’s department to remember the fallen deputy. About a thousand people showed up.