LOS ANGELES (AP) — An off-duty Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was killed Saturday in a drive-by shooting outside his home in a gang-plagued area, police said.

The deputy was not in uniform and was walking when shots rang out from a car early in the morning in the Cypress Park area, police Officer Jason Lee said.

It was too early to know whether the shooting was gang-related, Police Chief William Bratton said.

The deputy died at the scene. Police identified him as Juan Escalante, 27. Sheriff Lee Baca, who went to the scene, said Escalante was a two-year member of the sheriff's department who worked at a downtown jail.