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Pizza delivery driver shot to death after interrupting attack on 76-year-old man in Stanton

Good Samaritan shot and killed after stepping in to stop assault of elderly man
Good Samaritan shot and killed after stepping in to stop assault of elderly man 02:53

A pizza delivery driver who stopped to help another man being assaulted was shot and killed on Wednesday.

Orange County sheriff's deputies were called out to the 7000 block of Lessue Avenue at about 7:20 p.m. on Tuesday for a report of unknown trouble and found two men in the street with gunshot wounds. Both were taken to the hospital, where 49-year-old Juan Cristalinas of Santa Ana died.

The 76-year-old man remains hospitalized in serious condition.

Investigators say several suspects ran from the scene just before deputies arrived. 

Cristalinas was arriving to the scene to deliver a pizza. He worked as a delivery driver for a Domino's pizza chain in Orange County.

Arriving to his destination, Cristalinas saw the elderly man being assaulted by a group of men. That's when he stepped in. 

"Right off the bat I was like that's my dad because even when he was with us, even when something happened around here or someone with a flat tire..he's the guy that you see right there helping them," Ivan Cristalinas said.

Juan Cristalinas' family has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help his children and wife pay for funeral expenses. If you'd like to donate or make a contribution, click this link. 

Witnesses described the suspects as four Hispanic or white males, and the relationship between the 76-year-old man and the suspects is being investigated by homicide and gang detectives.

"This is just an unfortunate tragedy," Orange County Sheriffs Department Sgt. Todd Hylton said. "We understand the natural inclination to get involved and things like this are just so unfortunate."

Anyone with information about this assault or shooting can contact the Orange County Sheriff's Department at (714) 647-7000.

Cirstalinas' son, Ivan, found out that his father was killed when the Domino's chain that the former worked at texted his son asking if he knew where his father was. 

"I had a text message from Domino's pizza saying your dad hasn't come back, have you heard from him," Ivan Cristalinas said. "You know over time this wound will heal but we're just never going to forget it."  

Or forget the father who now leaves behind three older sons, a wife he's been married to for more than 20 years and three grandkids he loved so deeply. 

"He had the biggest heart and it's unexplainable how everything unfolded," Ivan Cristalinas said.  

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