UPS Driver Fatally Shot in Irvine; Suspect Arrested

UPS Driver Fatally Shot in Irvine; Suspect Arrested
A UPS driver drives after a delivery in North Andover, Mass., in a file photo. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
City News Service

IRVINE, Calif.—An Aliso Viejo man suspected of gunning down a United Parcel Service driver in Irvine remained hospitalized May 17, and while a motive remained unclear, police said the suspect and victim were acquaintances.

Rhean Fontanoza, 46, was arrested on suspicion of killing 50-year-old UPS driver Expedito Cuesta De Leon, also of Aliso Viejo, Thursday afternoon, according to Kyle Oldoerp of the Irvine Police Department.

The shooting occurred about 3 p.m. Thursday at Chrysler and Fleming.

Surveillance footage showed the suspect’s silver Honda Ridgeline 4-door truck pulling up next to the UPS truck, police said.

The victim was shot multiple times and was found slumped over in the driver’s seat of the UPS truck. There was no immediate word on what may have prompted the shooting, but police said the two are acquaintances. No other details of their relationship were immediately released.

Authorities radioed law enforcement in the area with a suspect description, and just before 4 p.m. a sheriff’s deputy found a match on Santiago Canyon Road, and the pickup was stopped near Chapman Avenue. Video from the scene around 6 p.m. showed the pickup pinned by a pair of armored SWAT vehicles, with additional officers stationed on a hillside above the standoff.

At about 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 canine was deployed, engaging the suspect in the rear passenger seat of the vehicle. After a short struggle, officers moved in and pulled the man from the vehicle and took him into custody.

Anyone who saw the shooting or has information relevant to investigators was asked to call Detective Craig Voors at 949-724-7131 or email [email protected].

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