UPS Worker Ambushed, Shot 14 Times By Childhood Friend

- July 12, 2024
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The Police Department has jailed a 77-year-old homeowner on suspicion of murder. The arrest took place not too long after the man fatally wounded a would-be burglar breaking into his home.

Note: at the time this video was published, the homeowner was in jail but had not yet been formally charged.

Various news sources and Colion Noir

It happened just before 6 pm on Monday evening..

Via Law Officer

IRVINE, Calif. – A UPS driver was ambushed and shot at more than a dozen times on his delivery route in Southern last month by a childhood friend who was also a coworker, according to prosecutors in .

On Thursday, May 16, at about 3:00 p.m., officers with the Irvine Police Department responded to the area of Chrysler and Bendix Streets where Expedito Cuesta De Leon, 50, was found with multiple gunshot wounds inside his delivery van. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

De Leon, a resident of Aliso Viejo, had just delivered a package when a masked gunman pulled up and discharged 14 rounds at the unsuspecting victim.

Rhean Jalipa Fontanoza, 46, a childhood friend of the victim, and also a UPS employee who was on disability leave, was identified as the gunman and later captured, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office, reported KTLA.

“He still had his UPS scanner in his hand, and his seatbelt buckled when Fontanoza drove next to De Leon's delivery truck and shot him 14 times in 19 seconds,” the prosecutor's office said on Tuesday.

Fontanoza reportedly went to great lengths, using inside employee information, to track down De Leon's delivery route on the day of the homicide. Hence, he is charged with a special circumstances allegation of shooting from a vehicle and murder by lying in wait.

“Just before 3 p.m., Fontanoza is accused of tracking De Leon down on his route and driving past him in a new vehicle which De Leon wouldn't recognize. De Leon then left his truck to make a delivery, returned to his truck, and buckled his seatbelt,” prosecutors said.

Fontanoza was later found by police on Santiago Canyon Road in the city of Orange. He refused to surrender and engaged in a standoff.

During the stalemate, tear gas was delivered into Fontanoza's vehicle, and a police K9 was deployed to apprehend the accused killer, KTLA reported.

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said De Leon “was just going about his day, doing his job with no idea his longtime friend was stalking him with every intent to kill him.”

“The depravity involved to plot and carry out a plan to execute someone you shared a lifetime of memories is not something anyone of us can wrap our heads around,” Spitzer noted. “No life should have to end like this and it is a tragedy that should have never happened.”

Prior to the execution-style murder, Fontanoza was scheduled to return to work on June 1 from disability leave.

Investigators are still working to determine a motive for the deadly attack.

Friends and loved ones expressed sorrow as they reflected on De Leon, a father of two who was also a veteran of the U.S. Army, according to KTLA.

“I was in shock,” said Rosanna McClanahan, the victim's neighbor. “He was just a really nice guy. He made friends with everybody.”

De Leon's ex-wife, Kimberly Sudan, said, “He had a good heart. His biggest joy was for his children. They have both successfully graduated from college, and it was one of the proudest moments of his life, at the graduation, seeing his son and daughter. We love and miss him very much.”

In a statement to Fox News Digital, UPS said it was “shocked and saddened by the latest developments in Irvine, CA. These are highly unusual circumstances and do not represent the culture of our company and the camaraderie among our employees around the world.”

“Our focus now is on supporting our people and their loved ones during this extremely difficult time. Since the investigation is ongoing, we defer any additional questions to the investigating authorities,” the company said.

Fontanoza was booked at the Orange County Jail where he is being held without bail.

Read in its entirety at lawofficer.com.

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