A childhood friend and co-worker of the victim was the suspect in the shooting

NBC Los Angeles

A 46-year-old Aliso Viejo man accused in the shooting death of a United Parcel Service truck driver in Irvine was a childhood friend and co-worker of the victim, prosecutors said Tuesday.
The criminal charges stem from the killing of 50-year-old UPS driver Expedito Cuesta De Leon, also of Aliso Viejo.
The victim was driving his UPS truck when he was shot at about 3 p.m. Thursday on a street in an Irvine neighborhood.
Prosecutors released new details Tuesday about the investigation, which determined that Fontanoza was on work disability and that the victim and suspect were childhood friends and co-workers.
The suspect is accused of tracking down Cuesta De Leon during the victim’s shift, stopping to ask another UPS driver earlier Thursday whether the route belonged to his friend.
“Authorities are still working to uncover the motive of what led to the execution of a longtime friend,” prosecutors said.
Security camera video showed the suspect’s silver Honda Ridgeline pulling up next to the UPS truck, police said.
Hours after the shooting, law enforcement located a pickup truck that matched the description of a suspect vehicle that witnesses provided.


Prosecutors said on Tuesday that the 46-year-old Aliso Viejo man is suspected of shooting and killing an Irvine truck driver for United Parcel Service. The victim was the man’s childhood friend and coworker.

On Monday, Rhean Jalipa Fontanoza was charged with murder under special circumstances, including the alleged shooting from a moving vehicle and murder by lying in wait. In addition, he would have to serve an increased sentence for shooting someone to death. Expedito Cuesta De Leon, a 50-year-old UPS driver from Aliso Viejo, is the subject of the criminal charges.

It was around three p.m. when the victim was shot while operating his UPS truck. M. On Thursday, in a neighborhood in Irvine.

The investigation found that Fontanoza was on work disability and that the suspect and the victim were childhood friends and coworkers, according to new information provided by the prosecution on Tuesday. Allegedly, the suspect tracked down Cuesta De Leon during the victim’s shift, making a stop earlier on Thursday to inquire with another UPS driver about whether the route belonged to his friend.

In a statement released on Tuesday by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Fontanoza is accused of going to the UPS Aliso Viejo substation, “when the driver told him De Leon had another route, where he was seen accessing a computer that shows driver routes and taking a picture with his phone.”.

Prior to 3 p.m. M. Prosecutors said that Fontanoza located Cuesta De Leon and drove by him in a brand-new car that his friend would not have recognized. Custa De Leon, according to the prosecution, was shot 14 times in 19 seconds after making a delivery, getting back into the truck, and fastening his seat belt.

Prosecutors stated, “Authorities are still trying to determine what motivated the execution of a close friend.”.

Fontanoza was supposed to start back at work on June 1 after being on disability leave.

According to police, the suspect’s silver Honda Ridgeline was captured on security camera footage pulling up next to the UPS truck. In the driver’s seat, the victim was discovered hunched over.

The truck was parked on a street, and police tape was all around it in aerial footage from NewsChopper4.

Law enforcement found a pickup truck that fit the description of a possible vehicle given by witnesses hours after the shooting. the pickup truck’s driver, who was driving along Santiago Canyon Road and State Route 261.

A confrontation ended with Fontanoza’s arrest.

UPS released a statement expressing how deeply saddened it is by the news of one of its drivers passing away in Irvine. “.

In a statement, UPS stated, “The safety and well-being of our employees is our top priority, and we are providing support and counseling services to our employees affected by this tragedy.”.

Police asked witnesses who had information about the shooting to contact them at 949-724-7200.

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