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UPS driver killed in Irvine: public viewing scheduled for Expedito Cuesta De León, who was shot to death in a delivery truck in Irvine

IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) — A public hearing will be held next week to honor the life of a UPS driver who was shot and killed while sitting in his delivery truck in Irvine.

Expedito Cuesta De León was murdered on May 16 while working. His long-time friend and co-worker, Rhean Jalipa Fontanoza, has since been charged in connection with the murder.

De León was shot 14 times “in a matter of seconds,” according to investigators.

According to an online fundraiser provided by De León’s family, the public visitation will be held at Fairhaven Memorial Services in Mission Viejo from 4 to 9 p.m.

De León’s colleagues at UPS created the fundraiser and said all the money raised will go to his family.

“I had the privilege of working alongside “X” DeLeon at UPS for many years,” the fundraiser description reads. “His infectious smile and unwavering positivity touched countless lives.”

Shooting investigation continues

On Tuesday, Fontanoza, 46, was charged with murder with a special circumstances allegation of drive-by shooting and murder by stalking. Fontanoza also faced an increased sentence for discharging a weapon causing death.

According to investigators, Fontanoza was harassing De León on the day of the shooting.

According to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Fontanoza allegedly stopped another UPS driver that same day and asked him about De León’s route.

When the driver told him that De León had another route, Fontanoza allegedly went to the UPS Aliso Viejo substation and accessed a computer that displays drivers’ routes and took a photo of it with his phone. Fontanoza had been on disability leave but was scheduled to return to work on June 1, the district attorney’s office said.

Shortly before 3 p.m., Fontanoza located De León in a new vehicle that the victim did not recognize, authorities said.

“De León then exited his truck to make a delivery, returned to his truck and fastened his seat belt,” the district attorney’s office said in a statement. “He still had his UPS scanner in his hand and his seat belt fastened when Fontanoza drove alongside De León’s delivery truck and shot him 14 times in 19 seconds.”

According to authorities, surveillance video captured Fontanoza in a pickup truck that stopped next to the UPS truck and then fled the scene in Goodyear toward Jerónimo. The truck was described as a silver four-door Honda Ridgeline with black bed liner and black wheels.

De León was pronounced dead after being found in the driver’s seat of the UPS truck.

“Mr. De León was simply going about his day, doing his job with no idea that his old friend was stalking him with every intention of killing him,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement. “The depravity involved in planning and carrying out a plan to execute someone with whom you shared a lifetime of memories is not something any of us can understand. No life should end like this and it is a tragedy that should never have happened.” .

Hours after the shooting, armored police vehicles cornered the silver SUV on Santiago Canyon Road near Chapman Avenue. Video from the scene around 6 p.m. showed additional SWAT officers stationed on a hillside above the standoff.

At approximately 6:15 p.m., officers were seen firing what appeared to be tear gas into the cab of the truck, and a short time later, a police K-9 was deployed, attacking a man in the back seat of the truck. passenger of the vehicle. After a brief struggle, officers entered, removed Fontanoza from the vehicle and detained him.

A UPS driver was shot and killed Thursday afternoon in Irvine, police said. The suspect remains at large.

Fontanoza is currently being held without bail. The district attorney’s office said he is eligible for the death penalty if he is convicted.

UPS issued a statement on Friday, saying: “We are shocked and saddened by the latest events in Irvine, CA. These are highly unusual circumstances and do not represent our company culture or the camaraderie among our employees around the world. Our focus now “is to support our people and their loved ones during this extremely difficult time. As the investigation is ongoing, we refer any additional questions to the investigating authorities.”

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