UPS driver fatally shot in Irvine, police believe it was a targeted attack

A suspect was arrested after fatally shooting a UPS driver in Irvine Thursday afternoon.

Police were called to the area of Chrysler and Fleming around 3 p.m. after receiving reports of shots fired.

According to Irvine police, the driver was on his lunch break, sitting in the vehicle, when the suspect pulled up in a truck and opened fire. The UPS driver died at the scene; the suspect fled in a silver pickup truck.

Just before 4 p.m., the Orange County Sheriff’s Department spotted the suspect's car, a Honda Ridgeline 4-door truck, on Santiago Canyon Road. 

SWAT was called to the scene as the suspect was barricaded inside the truck. 

After deploying a chemical agent and a police dog, the suspect was taken into custody.

He was identified as Rhean Fontanoza, 46, of Aliso Viejo.

Rhean Fontanoza

"SWAT team was able to negotiate him out of the vehicle. He did not peacefully give up -- he was forced out of the vehicle by SWAT team -- he is alive," said Sgt. Karie Davies with the Irvine Police Department. 

A motive for the shooting is not known, but police believe it was a targeted attack. 

"We don't know what the relationship is between these two gentlemen, if any. This definitely seemed targeted, meaning it wasn't a robbery, didn't appear to be a robbery," Davies added.

The victim has been identified as Expedito Cuesta De Leon, 50, of Aliso Viejo. 

People in the community say he frequents the area and typically has lunch in the same spot. 

On Friday, police said it appeared that Fontanoza and De Leon were acquaintances.

Kevin Sanchez of Greddy Performance Products said De Leon had been their UPS driver for several years and saw him this morning. 

"I mean he's a friendly gentleman, he never really displayed any sort of attitude, any sort of negativity or anything like that. Just kind of like your normal delivery guy," Sanchez said. 

A witness at the shooting scene told FOX 11 that he heard a barrage of gunfire. 

"We thought it was jackhammering. It sounded like it might have been two clips. It was repetitive hammering sounds. Three, four seconds later we heard it again."

UPS issued the following statement, "Our hearts are heavy tonight with the news of the loss of one of our drivers in Irvine, CA. We are assisting authorities however we can to understand what happened. As a result of the ongoing investigation to find those responsible, we are deferring any additional questions to authorities. 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."

Irvine police say if anyone saw anything suspicious in the area to call (949) 724-7200.