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Slain Mailman Just Unlucky

August 11, 1999

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Joseph Ileto had just started walking his mail route in suburban Chatsworth when he was gunned down in a driveway and left to die.

Although there were no witnesses to his slaying Tuesday, authorities said he was shot to death by Buford O’Neal Furrow Jr. about an hour after the white supremacist opened fire in a nearby Jewish community center, wounding three boys, a receptionist and a camp counselor.

Asked what linked Ileto’s killing to the community center shooting, Police Chief Bernard Parks cited the timing and location. Ileto was of Filipino descent.

Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles, said federal prosecutors intended to file murder charges in Ileto’s death.

Ileto, 39, had worked for the Postal Service for two years. He was a substitute carrier who took the routes of sick or vacationing co-workers. His colleagues ``really liked him. He seemed to be a happy-go-lucky kind of guy, always smiling,″ agency spokesman David Mazer said.

Ileto was returning to his truck when he was shot several times in the upper body. There was no sign of theft, Mazer said.

``He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,″ Mazer said.

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