Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon announced several charges against Kevin Cataneo Salazar in the ambush killing of sheriff’s deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer on Saturday.

Salazar was taken into custody on Monday morning following the fatal shooting.

During a Wednesday press conference, Gascon announced Salazar was charged with murder, along with special circumstance charges of killing a peace officer, lying in waiting, and by means of the discharge of a firearm from a motor vehicle

Salazar entered a dual plea of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity to the murder charge earlier on Wednesday, Fox 11 reported.


LA Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer seen smiling in a picture (L) and George Gascon seen speaking to reporters in a black suit and purple tie

Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer (L) and District Attorney George Gascon (R). (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Clinkunbroomer, 30, was found in his patrol car with a gunshot wound outside the sheriff’s Palmdale station and taken to a nearby hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. He was a field training officer.

“I have personally spoken to the district attorney this morning and he assures me that they will aggressively pursue this case,” Luna told reporters in Palmdale during a Monday press conference.  

Gascon himself wasn’t present at the news conference, but told Fox News Digital his office will prosecute the suspect.

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“I’ve been in personal contact with Sheriff Luna regarding this investigation and made a commitment to him that my office will aggressively prosecute the suspected killer for this cowardly and senseless attack,” Gascon said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “Deputy district attorneys from the Crimes Against Peace Officers Division rolled out the night that this horrendous crime occurred and are in frequent communication with LASD detectives. My office will keep the community updated on developments as we work on this case with our law enforcement partners.”

The district attorney has often been criticized for his so-callled soft-on-crime policies.


Los Angeles suspected cop killer Kevin Salazar, right, and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, left

Kevin Salazar is accused of killing Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer over the weekend. His family said he suffers from mental health issues.  (LASD / KEYNEWS.TV)

Jonathan Hatami, one of Gascon’s challengers in the upcoming election, outlined some of Gascon’s policies in a statement on Monday.

“When George Gascón came into office, he ordered all prosecutors to remove special circumstances on all current cases. That included murdering a police officer on duty. Gascón also ordered all prosecutors to remove the gun use allegations on all cases,” Hatami, who is a deputy district attorney, said. “There were no exceptions. These blanket directives applied to all current cases and all new cases.

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“When we have the evidence, in cases of murder that are so heinous it shocks the community conscience, we should file those cases to the fullest extent of the law. Justice demands it. We all need to demand that Gascón do his job,” added Hatami.


George Gascon speaks in front of a microphone in a navy suit at a news briefing

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon speaks at a press conference, December 8, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. A memo issued to his prosecutors this week requires them to seek permission to oppose defense motions to transfer cases involving juvenile suspects from adult to juvenile court. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Richard Pippin, president of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS), said the case is in Gascon’s hands.

“We expect that he’ll do what he said he assured Sheriff Luna what he would do and make sure that this does not happen to another family,” Pippin said Monday. 

Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.

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