Sheriff's deputy who was shot dead guarded highly dangerous inmates Tami Abdollah
A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy gunned down Saturday outside his boyhood home in Cypress Park had been assigned to guard the most dangerous inmates in the county, including members of the notorious Mexican Mafia gang, authorities said Sunday.
Los Angeles police and sheriff's officials said the prospect that Deputy Juan Abel Escalante was killed because of his work at the jail remained one of three possible motives.
Investigators were also considering the possibility that neighborhood gang violence or a personal grudge were behind the killing. As of right now, all of those possibilities are on the table," said Los...snip
Escalante, 27, was shot to death outside his parents' home about 5:40 a.m. Saturday as he left for work at the downtown Men's Central Jail. He was assigned to the "high power" unit, where dangerous inmates -- many of them violent gang members -- are housed in single-man cells, Diaz and Sheriff Lee Baca said.
Detectives from LAPD's robbery-homicide division were investigating the killing with the assistance of detectives from the sheriff's homicide division and the jail's gang unit. Baca said Escalante's assignment put him in touch with members of the Mexican Mafia, a gang known to direct street crime and violence from behind prison walls.
"Until we can verify anything, it has to be looked at. In a homicide of this kind, with a person who's from a neighborhood that's had some difficulty with gangs, you can't rule anything out, particularly that," Baca said.
Witnesses said they saw a white, four-door car approach Escalante shortly before gunfire erupted. The deputy, his wife and their three children were living with his parents while preparing to purchase a home in Pomona.