‘Gentle-Giant’ father of five, victim in deadly UPS Shooting

The victims of the deadly shooting at a San Francisco UPS distribution center Wednesday have been identified, and they include a father of five described as a kind and generous family man. 

According to CNN, 46-year-old Michael Lefiti of Hercules, California, was one of three victims killed by gunman Jimmy Lam, 38, a fellow UPS employee who then shot and killed himself when confronted by police. 

The other victims were San Francisco residents Wayne Chan, 56 and Benson Louie, 50.  Two other people were shot, but survived. 

The Associated Press reported Thursday that Lam had filed a grievance in March complaining that UPS was requiring him to work too much overtime.

Lefiti, known as “Big Mike” to friends, had been employed by UPS for 17 years and was remembered by his large circle of friends and extended Samoan family as a hard worker and a kind and gentle soul who was the life of the party.  Customers along his delivery route joined friends in setting up a makeshift memorial Wednesday in the Diamond Heights neighborhood where Lefiti parked his UPS truck. 

The San Francisco Examiner quoted one of the signs at the memorial:

 “‘Big’ Mike was large in size. But his laughter, concern for others, and dedication to those he loved were all much, much larger. Larger than life.”

Coworkers told ABC News that they sometimes referred to the kindhearted Lefiti as a “gentle giant.”

Fredrick Dionisio, a security guard at a nearby Bank of America, tearfully told the San Francisco Chronicle that Lefiti was “everybody’s big brother. He’s the guy that if you’re having a bad day, he’ll make you laugh.”

Another friend and customer, Jessica Irvine, recounted that Lefiti “knew everyone” in the neighborhood:

“You’d walk by to go to the drugstore and have a conversation with Mike.  He was very, very well-loved by everybody. He was very friendly and helpful and honest.”

A cousin, Bob Toia, told the San Francisco Chronicle that Lefiti would “always give the shirt off his back.  He was a real dedicated person to his family, to his wife, to his kids. If you needed anything, Mike was there for you. He was always there for you.”

This is not the first time tragedy has struck the Lefiti family. SFGate reported in 2006 that Lefiti’s older brother Oliver Lefiti Jr. was killed by San Francisco police officers after allegedly driving a stolen car toward an officer.  The family pressed the San Francisco police for additional information and claimed that they were not notified in a timely manner of Oliver Lefiti’s death, who was unarmed, according to the police report.

Feature photo: GoFundMe