Arrests Made in Road Rage Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy on California Freeway
Two people have been arrested in connection with the killing of 6-year-old Aiden Leos, who was struck by gunfire from another car on the 55 Freeway last month on his way to kindergarten, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The California Highway Patrol confirmed on Sunday the arrests of two suspects believed to be responsible for the May 21 shooting death of Aiden, who was in the back seat of a car driven by his mother when he was shot.
Marcus Anthony Eriz, 24, and Wynne Lee, 23, were arrested on Sunday at their home in Costa Mesa after returning from a restaurant and are expected to be charged with murder, according to authorities.
Both were being held on $1 million bail and scheduled to head to court on Tuesday, according to Orange County jail records.
Authorities are expected to release more information at a Monday afternoon news conference. The arrests were reported a day after a memorial service at which Aiden was remembered by family members as a bright and funny boy with a brilliant imagination.
“You loved to play with toys for hours,” mother Joanna Cloonan said at the service. “You would create a whole world with characters within your vivid imagination.”
Aiden’s funeral also is scheduled for Monday afternoon.
“On behalf of Border Division Chief Omar Watson, and the Santa Ana Area, we are deeply grateful for the professionalism and tireless commitment of our investigators who have worked on this case from day one to find those responsible for Aiden’s death,” said CHP Commissioner Amanda Rey. “While these arrests will not ease the pain of a mother’s loss, my hope is for the Leos family to have some peace of mind and to rest assured the CHP will work with the Orange County District Attorney to bring justice for Aiden.”
The CHP Border Division Chief Watson also thanked the community for its “indescribable outpouring of concern and hundreds of tips” that helped investigators find the killers.
“This senseless crime tore at the community’s heart and brought it together in outrage and sheer determination to find Aiden’s killers,” said OC Supervisor Donald Wagner on Sunday afternoon. “The CHP and District Attorney’s office have been relentless in the pursuit of justice for Aiden. I congratulate them on these arrests and thank them for their dedication to the people of Orange County.”
It was not immediately clear whether the two suspects have attorneys.
The steadily growing reward in the shooting of Aiden, who was struck by gunfire from another carMay 21 on the 55 Freeway in Orange, started with an offer of $50,000 and increased in the week following the shooting. The money includes funds from the family, businesses and Orange County officials.
There were no immediate details on what led to the arrests.
Aiden was riding with his mother when he was struck by a bullet in his abdomen. He was on his way to kindergarten. The shooting stemmed from a road rage confrontation, investigators said.
She was merging away from the carpool lane, she said she heard a loud noise. A bullet had pierced the trunk of the car before striking Aiden, who was in a booster seat.
“I heard my son say, ‘Ow,’” Joanna Cloonan said at a news conference last month. “He had been shot.”
During the search for the shooter, the California Highway Patrol released a photo of a white Volkswagen Golf Sportwagon, possibly a 2018 or 2019 model, sought in connection with the crime.
In addition to reward money, the community expressed its grief and support by leaving balloons, stuffed animals, notes and other items at an overpass near the site of the freeway shooting. Signs on a fence at the overpass read, “Who Shot Aiden?”