UPS Driver Shot 14 Times By Childhood Friend and Coworker, District Attorney Says

Rhean Jalipa Fontanoza has been charged with special circumstance murder and is eligible for the death penalty if convicted

<p>Expedito De Leon/Facebook</p> Expedito De Leon

Expedito De Leon/Facebook

Expedito De Leon

A UPS driver in California was killed after his childhood friend and coworker shot at him 14 times, the Orange County District Attorney's Office announced on Tuesday, May 21.

Rhean Jalipa Fontanoza, 46, was on disability leave when he allegedly went into the UPS Aliso Viejo substation on Thursday, May 16, and accessed a computer to find out what route his friend, Expedito De Leon, 50, was working.

Fontanoza, scheduled to return to work on Saturday, June 1, allegedly went into the office after inquiring about De Leon's route to another UPS driver earlier that day.

According to the district attorney's office, Fontanoza found his location just before 3 p.m. while driving in a "new vehicle" that De Leon "wouldn't recognize."

<p>Irvine Police Department</p> Rhean Jalipa Fontanoza

Irvine Police Department

Rhean Jalipa Fontanoza

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"De Leon then left his truck to make a delivery and returned to his truck, and buckled his seatbelt. He still had his UPS scanner in his hand and his seatbelt buckled when Fontanoza drove next to De Leon’s delivery truck and shot [at] him 14 times in 19 seconds," the district attorney's press release states, noting that he was struck 10 times.

The Irving Police Department responded to the scene and found De Leon" slumped over in the driver’s seat of his delivery truck."

"Officers pulled him from the vehicle and began life-saving measures. The driver suffered multiple gunshot wounds and died from his injuries," a news release from the police department reads.

<p>Getty</p> Stock image of a UPS delivery truck


Stock image of a UPS delivery truck

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While Fontanoza drove away from the scene after the shooting, he was located later that same day and arrested after a police K9 and tear gas were deployed into his vehicle.

Fontanoza, who has now been charged with special circumstance murder, is currently being held on no bail and is eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

“Mr. De Leon was just going about his day, doing his job with no idea his longtime friend was stalking him with every intent to kill him,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer in a press release statement.

<p>Getty</p> Stock image of crime scene tape


Stock image of crime scene tape

"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. No life should have to end like this and it is a tragedy that should have never happened," the statement adds.

UPS responded to the incident in a statement to USA Today, sharing that "these are highly unusual circumstances and do not represent the culture of our company and the camaraderie among our employees around the world."

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"Our focus now is on supporting our people and their loved ones during this extremely difficult time," the statement adds.

PEOPLE has reached out to UPS for comment.

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