A Domino's Pizza driver was shot and killed late Wednesday while delivering a pizza in Prince George's County, a company spokesman said.
The driver, Shia Hwang, 46, of Suitland, was delivering the order in the Camp Springs area. Police found him lying dead on the road, without his car, about 12:15 a.m. at Allentown and Loch Raven roads, nearly 11/2 mile west of Andrews Air Force Base.
The victim was killed by a gunshot wound to the upper body, Prince George's police said. Police had not released his name yesterday afternoon because they had not reached his relatives, but a corporate spokesman for Domino's released Hwang's identity.
The crime was the second killing of a pizza delivery driver in the Washington area in the past year. In September, a father of eight was fatally shot after delivering a pizza in Old Town Alexandria in an apparent robbery attempt.
Although police have not released all the details of the crime, a fellow driver of Hwang's at the Camp Springs franchise said he was at the crime scene yesterday and spoke with authorities, who he said disclosed information about the case.
The driver, who spoke on the condition that he not be named because he feared losing his job, said Domino's received a phone order from a new customer to deliver pizza to a house a few blocks off Allentown Road. When Hwang arrived at the house -- which the driver said was apparently abandoned -- the supposed customer shot and robbed Hwang, then stole his gold 2004 Honda Civic, the driver said. Early yesterday, the car was found abandoned and burned at Camp Springs Park on Robina Road, he said.
When Hwang left the pizza store, he was wearing a blue-and-red Domino's uniform and a name tag but did not have a Domino's tag or sign on his car, the driver said.
Hwang's slaying has rattled workers at the pizza chain.
"As you might imagine, we're shocked and saddened," said Tim McIntyre, a spokesman for Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Domino's, which has about 7,800 stores worldwide.
Domino's instructs its drivers to take precautions by using a caller identification system to link telephone numbers to addresses, McIntyre said.
"Ultimately, what we're trying to do is deliver pizza, and we're trying to do that in the best, safest possible manner," McIntyre said. "Unfortunately, we can't prevent the bad guys from winning."
The Camp Springs Domino's was closed yesterday but is scheduled to reopen today. Still, several drivers arrived there in the afternoon to find out more information about the crime. The manager on duty and workers said they were instructed by corporate headquarters as well as police not to speak to reporters.
Mona Kim, who owns a dry cleaners near the pizza store, stood at her counter yesterday with her two front doors propped open to let in the cool breeze and wondered aloud what had happened to the pizza delivery man she waved to nearly every day as he pulled into his parking spot out front.
"He just delivered the pizza. What could it be?" she asked.
Hwang emigrated from China about a decade ago and had been employed in Chinese restaurants before beginning work at Domino's in September, said the driver, who described himself as one of Hwang's good friends.
"He'd always tell me that delivering pizza is an easier way to make money than working in a hot kitchen," the driver said.
Hwang, who the driver said has children in Virginia and Taiwan, had been working extra hours to save money for a trip to his homeland.
"He worked every day if he could," the driver said. "He was a hard worker, supporting his family. His goal was to go back to China one day. I know he was getting his airline ticket."