Palmdale man to stand trial in shooting death of L.A. County sheriff's deputy

A man accused of fatally shooting a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy last year in Palmdale will stand trial on suspicion of murder, a judge ordered Thursday in a preliminary hearing.

Kevin Cataneo Salazar, 29, admitted to killing Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer in September, according to law enforcement sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation.

Cataneo Salazar allegedly shot Clinkunbroomer in the back of his head while both men were in their vehicles at a stoplight near the sheriff’s Palmdale station.

He was charged last year with one count of murder with special circumstances of lying in wait, firing from a car and personal use of a firearm, according to the criminal complaint. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Read more: He heard voices. He bought a gun. Now he's accused of killing an L.A. deputy

Deputies identified Cataneo Salazar as the primary suspect 36 hours after the killing, when community members came forward with information about a vehicle of interest. The vehicle led deputies to his home on the east side of Palmdale.

Cataneo Salazar was taken into custody after an hours-long standoff with law enforcement, during which he barricaded himself inside his home.

His mother previously told The Times that her son hears voices and had been hospitalized twice for mental health crises. Experts say California laws should have barred him from purchasing a gun.

Clinkunbroomer, 30, had recently gotten engaged to be married. Cataneo Salazar will appear in court for arraignment on June 27.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.