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Suspect in killing of UPS driver in Irvine also worked for the company, police say

Investigators say suspect who shot and killed UPS worker also worked for the company
Investigators say suspect who shot and killed UPS worker also worked for the company 02:42

The man suspected of killing a UPS driver found shot dead inside his delivery truck was also an employee of the company, police said Friday. 

Rhean Fontanoza, 46. Irvine Police Department

Expedito Cuesta De Leon, 50, was slumped over in the driver's seat of the truck when officers responded to an area near Fleming and Chrysler around 3 p.m. Thursday after receiving multiple reports of gunshots fired, according to the Irvine Police Department. The officers pulled De Leon from the vehicle and performed life-saving efforts but he died from his injuries. 

About three hours later, SWAT officers arrested Rhean Fontanoza, 46, on suspicion of killing De Leon following a standoff 15 miles away from where they found De Leon. 

Police described the victim and the suspect — both residents of Aliso Viejo — as "acquaintances" who both worked for UPS. However, authorities said a motive remains unclear.

UPS released a statement Friday saying it was cooperating with the investigation.

"Our hearts are heavy with the news of the loss of one of our drivers in Irvine, CA, and we are assisting authorities to understand what happened," the company said in a statement.

Just hours after the shooting, police said the killing did not appear to be a robbery and the victim may have been targeted.

According to police, surveillance footage captured a silver Honda Ridgeline pick-up truck pull up alongside the UPS truck and then drive off on Goodyear and travel toward Jeronimo. 

Investigators with the Orange County Sheriff's Department found a truck matching the description of the vehicle on Santiago Canyon Road just before 4 p.m. Irvine police officers later responded and confirmed it was the vehicle seen on surveillance video.

SWAT officers with the Irvine Police Department arrived and took Fontanoza into custody. 

Friends of De Leon gathered near the spot where he was killed early Friday morning to mourn their loved one. They remembered him as a hard worker, beloved family man and avid mountain biker. 

"I'm so heartbroken right now," said Ramon Amoy. "I can't believe this could be happen to my friend."

Anyone with information can reach Detective Craig Voors at 949-724-7131 or email him at

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