A Domino’s Pizza delivery driver was shot dead while dropping off an order in suburban Los Angeles on Tuesday night as he tried to help an elderly assault victim.
At approximately 7:21 p.m., Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the 7000 block of Lessue Avenue in Stanton, where they discovered Juan Cristalinas, 49, and an unidentified 76-year-old man lying in the street with gunshot wounds.
Both men were taken to hospital, where Cristalinas was pronounced dead from his injuries.
“Preliminary information indicates that Mr. Cristalinas is a pizza delivery driver who may have stopped to help the other victim during an assault,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
The surviving victim remained hospitalized in stable condition.
“My stepfather died trying to do the right thing and sadly paid a very high price for it,” Cristalinas’ stepdaughter wrote in a GoFundMe campaign description.
Daniela Trevilla has revealed Cristalinas works two jobs and spends his weekends moonlighting as a mechanic to help support his family, including his wife, three sons and three grandchildren.
“He was the kind of person who always stood up for others and wasn’t afraid to do the right thing,” the daughter-in-law wrote. “While we are proud of the bravery of his last act of kindness, we are all devastated and completely broken by this loss.”
Cristalinas’ son, Ivan Cristalinas, told ABC Eyewitness News that although many would describe his father as “creepy” due to his strong build and bald head, he said he had “the biggest heart.” .
Sally Gomez Cox, who placed the pizza order Cristlanas was delivering at the time of the shooting, told the outlet she heard what she thought was fireworks.
Deputies, including a sheriff’s gang enforcement team, were looking for four men as potential suspects, described as Hispanic or white.
The relationship between the injured victim and the suspects is investigated by the gang unit.