A fourth-generation peace officer
In an emotionally charged service, relatives, friends and colleagues said farewell yesterday to a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who was gunned down in his patrol vehicle near the Palmdale sheriff’s station just days after getting engaged to the love of his life.
Ryan Clinkunbroomer, a 30-year-old, fourth-generation deputy, was honored in a Mass at the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels, which was filled to capacity with law enforcement personnel, dignitaries and family who described him as the quintessential deputy, friend and fiance.
“I know he left this world full of love,” Clinkunbroomer’s fiancée, Brittany Lindsey, said as she fought back tears. “He was ready to commit his life to me and I was ready to commit mine to him. I would give anything in the world to have him here. I wish I could kiss him, hug him, tell him one last time that I love him. He’s the best guy I’ve ever met and my best friend.
“He didn’t deserve this. I will never understand why this happened to him. He loved his job. He went to work every day with a smile, and he was so proud to take care of his community. He’s a real hero,” she said.
Several of Clinkunbroomer’s deputy colleagues spoke of their friendship and of his dedication to his work, friends and family.
“This bond I had with him -- it’s going to be hard to have that bond with somebody else,” Deputy Andrew De La Rosa said. “... Clink was perfect when it came to patrol. He did everything right, everything by the book. And he was smooth, very smooth with what he did. ... When you saw Clink, you knew it was going to be handled perfectly.”
Clinkunbroomer’s father, Michael, told stories about his son growing up and following in his family’s footsteps into the sheriff’s department–and his pride in his son’s success.
“We’re not saying goodbye, Ryan, but we’re saying thank you,” he said. “I’m saying thank you, Ryan, for making me a better human being. Thank you, Ryan, for your love of life. Your mother and I will always miss you. I’ll see you one day in heaven. You’re my hero.”
Clinkunbroomer was shot around 6 p.m Sept. 16 while sitting in his patrol car at a traffic light near the station at Sierra Highway and East Avenue Q.
Sheriff Robert Luna noted the Clinkunbroomer family’s service to the department, beginning with Ryan Clinkunbroomer’s great-grandfather in 1937, followed by his grandfather and father. The sheriff noted the family had “over 86 years of unbroken service, and 121 years of combined service.”
“That’s this family,” Luna said, drawing applause from the audience. “Some of us ask, why him? Why now? Others ask why not me? And the truth is we may never know. But what we do know is that Ryan was absolutely an outstanding deputy sheriff for Los Angeles County.”