The family of a 6-year-old boy who was killed in an alleged road-rage shooting is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the shooter.
On Sunday, relatives of Aiden Leos (pictured above) created a GoFundMe page to announce the reward after a separate fundraising page was set up to help the family — which raised over $164,000.
The post on the new page reads:
“We can not let these murders get away with this. We NEED justice for AIDEN!! As a distant family member I am trying to set up a REWARD of $50,000 for whoever helps in the arrest of these murderers! We will have this reward either way but if you feel led to donate to this, we appreciate your help.”
According to reports, Aiden was riding in a car seat in the back of a vehicle while his mother was driving him to kindergarten on Friday. Tragically, he was struck by gunfire from another car on the 55 Freeway in Orange, California.
Although police didn’t share details on what led up to the shooting, investigators said it stemmed from an apparent road rage confrontation. California Highway Patrol Officer John De Matteo said the other driver opened fire between 7:55 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. Friday on the northbound 55 between the 22 Freeway and Chapman Avenue. DeMatteo also added the initial description of the suspect vehicle — a white sedan. Investigators later said the vehicle may be a newer model, potentially a white Volkswagen “wagon-style” sedan.
The mother, Joanna Cloonan, told the press she pulled over immediately and called 911. The boy was rushed to Children’s Hospital of Orange County, where he later died. She reflected:
“It almost felt like he wasn’t human sometimes because he was unbelievably kind and sweet. As I was merging away from the carpool lane, I heard a loud noise and I heard my son say ‘ow,’ and I pulled the car over as soon as possible, and he had been shot. I tried to save him by calling 911, but he was losing a lot of blood — he just didn’t deserve that. No one deserves that.”
An eyewitness told the Los Angeles Times that he and his wife spotted a “hysterical” Cloonan on the freeway shoulder pulling her child out from the passenger side of the car.
The mother told them she had tried to switch lanes to exit when a white sedan with a man and woman inside cut her off; she apparently gestured to them and proceeded into the exit lane, then the bullet entered the left side of trunk and “went through the boy’s back.”
At the scene, CHP Officer Florentino Olivera described the shooting as an “isolated road rage incident,” telling NBC4:
“It was an isolated road rage incident between the mom and another driver from a white sedan. Not sure if there were passengers in that white sedan, but apparently there was a shot fired from that sedan into the silver car, and unfortunately the child that was seated in the right rear seat was struck.”
The CHP are asking anyone who may have dash cam footage of the attack to contact investigators.
Our hearts go out to the victim’s loved ones at this devastating time.
[Image via GoFundMe]