Suspect in LA Deputy Sheriff Slaying Was Hospitalized for Schizophrenia; Sources Say Gun Bought Legally


Kevin Cataneo Salazar, 29, of Palmdale, California was arrested early Monday morning after a four-hour standoff with LA County Sheriff's Deputies, in relation to the murder of Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer Saturday evening.


Law enforcement sources tell RedState that Salazar has been "5150'd," or involuntarily committed, several times, and that deputies removed several firearms from the residence, including the .22 they believe was used in Clinkunbroomer's murder, immediately following Salazar's apprehension. According to both the LA Times and sources RedState spoke to, Salazar admitted to the killing.

Salazar's mother spoke to the LA Times and described her son as mentally ill, which seems to corroborate what the law enforcement sources said. Marle Salazar said her son was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia about five years ago, and would tell the family he heard voices but wouldn't elaborate about what those voices said.

“My son is mentally ill, and if he did something, he wasn’t in his full mental capacity,” she said in an interview with The Times in Spanish.

“They’re only saying that he was the one that shot the deputy, but nobody is saying he has a record for needing mental help,” she said.

“I have called the police several times,” she said. “In the end, they would say, ‘He’s an adult, so if he doesn’t want to take [his medication], we can’t do anything.’”

Twice since his diagnosis, she said, he’s attempted suicide. “It’s not my son that did it, it’s the disease that did it,” she said. “They are putting all this out there that my son killed someone, but nobody is saying that my son is sick. He’s sick, and so many people talk about schizophrenia, but then nothing happens.”

She said her son had been hospitalized in Sylmar [Olive View Medical Center] in the past year and seemed to be doing better. He stopped taking his medication about 10 months ago, but she said he appeared to be “calm,” so she and his family didn’t press it.


Disturbingly, Marle Salazar said that her son had been home since Clinkunbroomer's murder and that nothing seemed different about him. She said she was taken by surprise when deputies showed up at her house early Monday morning.

She also said that while she'd called the police several times to ask for help, it was because he was aggressive toward himself, but never to other people. However, she was surprised that her son had a gun, and said that deputies told her it was legally purchased. Given that she said her son's last hospitalization was last year, he would be unable to purchase a gun legally. No doubt deputies are already working to determine who purchased that gun and the others found at the home. 

LA Times crime reporter Richard Winton, who isn't the reporter who authored the other article, tweeted that Cataneo Salazar admitted to the killing.

Other sources told RedState that the admission happened during negotiations with the Crisis Negotiation Team, which could explain why Salazar was so compliant when he came out of the house. That admission, though, could be problematic in the hands of a defense attorney at least from a competency standpoint, and possibly from other standpoints.


This is clearly still a developing story; we will be following it and bringing what we find to our readers.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was edited post-publication for clarity.)



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