Stanton, California, — A Domino’s pizza delivery driver from California has been fatally shot while trying to help an elderly assault victim.
The 49-year-old delivery driver from Santa Ana, Juan Cristalinas, was found with multiple gunshot wounds alongside a 76-year-old unidentified man when the deputies responded to unknown trouble on a street in Stanton Tuesday, the New York Post reported.
Both victims were transported to a hospital, where Juan was pronounced dead, Orange County Sheriff’s office said in a statement posted on social media Thursday. The elderly victim is now in stable condition.
A preliminary investigation reportedly revealed that Juan was fatally shot while stopping by to help the 76-year-old victim who was being attacked by unknown suspects.
Meanwhile, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office is seeking public assistance in locating the suspects who fled the scene after the incident. They are believed to be four Hispanic or white men, based on witness accounts.
“If anyone has any information regarding the shooting that took place in Stanton on June 28th, they are asked to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at (714) 647-7000. Anonymous information may be provided through Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS,” the sheriff’s office noted in the statement.
Sally Gomez Cox, the customer Juan was delivering pizza to at the time of the incident, said she heard gunshot sounds but thought they were fireworks, ABC News reported.
The officials are now investigating the relationship between the suspects and the surviving victim.
Juan is survived by his loving wife, their three sons and three grandchildren, according to the GoFundMe page created by his daughter-in-law, Daniela Trevilla, to help support the family.
“He was the kind of person who always stood up for others and wasn’t scared of doing the right thing. Although we are proud of how brave his last act of kindness is, we are all devastated and completely broken by this loss,” Trevilla wrote on the page.
Ivan Cristalinas, one of Juan’s sons, fondly remembers his father as someone with the “biggest heart.” “A lot of people would describe him as serious and kind of scary looking, because, you know, he’s kind of big and had no hair,” ABC Eyewitness News quoted him as saying. “But he had the biggest heart. It’s safe to say that what he did is actually what describes him the most, because he would go out of his way to help somebody.”