Police: California UPS Driver Slain by Childhood Friend and Coworker in Shooting at Work

FILE - In this June 20, 2014, file photo, a United Parcel Service driver starts his truck
AP Photo/David Goldman

A California UPS driver was fatally shot in a brutal ambush while on his delivery route by his childhood friend and coworker, prosecutors said.

Expedito De Leon, 50, was shot 10 times “in a matter of seconds as he sat seat belted in his delivery truck” by Rhean Jalipa Fontanoza, 46, on May 16, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said in a Tuesday press release.

“He still had his UPS scanner in his hand and his seatbelt buckled when Fontanoza drove up next to De Leon’s delivery truck and shot [at] him 14 times in 19 seconds,” officials stated.

Ten of the shots connected with De Leon, killing him. 

Fontanoza was on disability leave from UPS at the time of the shooting, and is accused of going to great lengths to track down the victim while he drove his route.

At around 12:30 p.m., the suspect allegedly stopped another UPS driver and asked if their route belonged to De Leon. 

When the driver told him that De Leon was on another route, Fontanoza then went to the UPS substation in Aliso Viejo where he allegedly accessed the computer route system and took photos with his cell phone. 

“Just before 3 p.m., Fontanoza is accused of tracking De Leon down on his route and driving past him a new vehicle which De Leon wouldn’t recognize,” the DA’s office said.

Fontanoza is accused of waiting until his friend returned back to his truck from dropping off a delivery before opening fire. 

He then fled the scene in his vehicle before police located him later that afternoon. He initially refused to exit his vehicle, but was finally arrested after a K-9 unit and tear gas were deployed. 

The alleged killer was due to return from leave on June 1, but now he is being held without bail in the Orange County Jail on special circumstance murder charges. 

“Mr. 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,” DA Todd Spitzer said in a statement “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. No life should have to end like this and it is a tragedy that should have never happened.”

No motive has been determined for the attack. 

UPS said it was “shocked and saddened” to hear of the news in a statement to Fox News. 

“These are highly unusual circumstances and do not represent the culture of our company and the camaraderie among our employees around the world,” the delivery service said.

“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 added.


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