The family of a man accused of killing a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy in what authorities called a targeted “ambush” said he had mental health issues.
said Jessica Salazar, Kevin Salazar’s sister. fox los angeles She said her brother was not in a normal state of mind when he allegedly shot and killed sheriff’s deputy Ryan Clinkan-Bloomer on Saturday.
“My brother is said to be a coward. His mental state was not normal,” she said. “My brother did have schizophrenia. He had paranoia.”
Girl attacked at McDonald’s in Los Angeles, people pull out cellphones to record
Kevin Salazar, 29, is suspected of fatally shooting field training officer Klinkan Bloomer, 30, outside the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station northeast of downtown Los Angeles.
Klinkanbloomer was found unconscious. There was a gunshot wound to the police car. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said Monday that the murder was an ambush.
Investigators have not determined a motive for the shooting. Salazar was arrested Monday morning in Palmdale after a standoff with authorities.
“We are very confident that we have the right person in custody,” Luna said.
New details emerge of LASD deputy shot dead in suspected ‘ambush’ attack
Salazar’s mother, Merle Salazar, told the Los Angeles Times that her son was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia several years ago and had to go to security at least twice because he refused to take his medication and became aggressive. He said he called the station.
She said the man had been hospitalized but stopped taking his medication about 10 months ago.
“My son has a mental illness and if he did something, he wasn’t at his full mental capacity,” she told the newspaper. “All they’ve said is that he was the one who shot the deputy, but no one has said he had a criminal record that required him to get psychological help.”
She said her son was at home with his family after the incident, but did not appear nervous or involved in the incident. She told the Times that he owned a gun.
Jessica Salazar said her brother’s mental state “doesn’t justify” his family’s actions.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“We’re thinking about the family,” she said. “It hurts. No one wants to go through that.”
On Monday, Luna was asked about Salazar’s potential mental health issues.
“Think about this,” he said. “If I had to go to your family and tell them you didn’t come home and were just killed, does it matter what that person was thinking or the condition?”