Palmdale man accused of killing deputy could make 1st court appearance on Wednesday

A Palmdale man was expected to be in court as early as Wednesday, Sept. 20, to face at least one charge for the fatal shooting of a sheriff’s deputy who officials say was ambushed while sitting in a patrol car near the agency’s Palmdale station.

Detectives plan to present their case against Kevin Cataneo Salazar on Wednesday to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, said Nicole Nishida, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The DA’s Office would then consider filing one or more charges.

Booking records show Salazar was tentatively scheduled to appear on Wednesday at the Michael D. Antonovich Antelope Valley Court in Lancaster, although such arraignment dates can’t be established until a suspect is charged. At arraignments, defendants are asked if they understand whatever charge they face, and they can choose to enter a plea.

Salazar, 29, was arrested in the Saturday, Sept. 16, killing of Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer. The 30-year-old deputy died from a gunshot wound to the head, the medical examiner’s office has said.

Clinkunbroomer, whose father and grandfather also worked for the Sheriff’s Department, was an eight-year veteran of the department who recently got engaged.

Saturday night, Clinkunbroomer was stopped at a red light when authorities say the suspect allegedly pulled alongside him and opened fire, sheriff’s officials have said, adding that the suspect then sped off.

The injured deputy, found in his patrol car, died at a hospital.

On Sunday, Sheriff Robert Luna pleaded for the public’s help for information that would lead to the shooter; a $250,000 award was announced. Afterward, someone approached authorities and pointed them to Salazar.

The Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau, which is the department’s SWAT, descended on the 37600 block of Barrinson Street in Palmdale early Monday, with detectives arresting Salazar at his home after a standoff. They found firearms at the home, authorities have said.

Salazar’s mother told reporters that he has schizophrenia and delusional perception.

As of Tuesday morning, Salazar was being held without the opportunity for bail at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles.

He has no prior convictions in Los Angeles County, according to court records.

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