UPS Driver Fatally Shot By Childhood Friend While Delivering Packages: DA

A UPS employee in Southern California was charged Tuesday with shooting his friend and coworker in an execution-style killing last week.

Rhean Jalipa Fontanoza, 46, allegedly shot and killed Expedito De Leon, his childhood friend, while De Leon was out delivering packages last week, according to a press release from the Orange County district attorney’s office.

Expedito De Leon via Facebook
Expedito De Leon via Facebook Facebook

“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,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in the release.

Prosecutors said the shooting occurred on May 16, while Fontanoza was out on work disability. Fontanoza stopped another UPS driver out delivering packages to ask if the route belonged to De Leon, according to the press release. Upon learning that De Leon had another route, Fontanoza went to a local UPS substation, where he used a computer to look up De Leon’s route.

Using a car De Leon wouldn’t recognize, Fontanoza drove up to De Leon’s truck that afternoon in Irvine. He allegedly waited until De Leon had returned to his truck and buckled his seatbelt before firing 14 shots at him, killing him.

Fontanoza fled the scene but was located later that day in Orange, the district attorney’s office said. After he refused to leave his vehicle, police used tear gas and police dogs to take him into custody.

Prosecutors have yet to determine a motive behind the alleged execution, according to the announcement.

Kimberly Sudan, De Leon’s ex-wife, told local news station KTLA that De Leon had “a good heart” and had served in the army for four years before working at UPS.

“His biggest joy was for his children,” Sudan told the outlet. “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.”

UPS called called the events “highly unusual” in a statement to CBS News, saying what happened does “not represent the culture of our company and the camaraderie among our employees around the world.”