Aiden Leos, the 6-year-old boy killed in a road-rage shooting on the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway in May, will be honored Monday as officials announce a memorial plaque soon to come when the new Large Mammal Project opens at the OC Zoo.
Joanna Cloonan, Aiden’s mother, and other relatives are expected to attend an event at the Zoo Monday morning with County Supervisor Don Wagner and zoo staff to discuss the dedication plans.
Aiden was killed around 8 a.m. May 21 while strapped in his child seat inside his mother’s Chevrolet Sonic. Cloonan was driving her son to kindergarten in Yorba Linda when she got involved in a road-rage incident with two people in a white Volkswagen station wagon.
According to Cloonan, while driving northbound on the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway between the Garden Grove (22) Freeway and Chapman Avenue in Orange, she tried to switch lanes to exit but was cut off by the Volkswagen. She made a gesture to them and proceeded into the exit lane.
Authorities believe the driver of the Volkswagen maneuvered behind Cloonan’s car and the passenger fired the shot into the rear of the vehicle. The bullet passed through the trunk, striking Aiden as he sat on the rear passenger side of his mother’s car.
Cloonan pulled over and called 911. The boy was rushed to Children’s Hospital of Orange County, where he was pronounced dead.
After a weeks-long manhunt, two suspects were arrested June 6.
Marcus Anthony Eriz, 24, and Wynne Lee, 23, were arrested at their Costa Mesa apartment. Police said they recovered the weapon believed to have been used in the shooting that killed young Aiden Leos. They also recovered the white Volkswagen, which was found at a Whittier home, reported to be that of Eriz’s grandmother.
Eriz, the suspected shooter, was charged with murder and a felony count of discharge of a firearm at an inhabited dwelling, with sentencing enhancements for discharge of a firearm causing death. He faces up to 40 years to life in prison if convicted at trial.
Lee, believed to have been driving the Volkswagen, was charged with a felony count of being an accessory after the fact and a misdemeanor count of having a concealed firearm in a vehicle. Lee faces up to four years behind bars if convicted at trial of all charges. Three of those years would be prison and one in jail.