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A California couple has been arrested in the alleged road rage shooting of a six-year-old boy who was killed while traveling down the highway on the way to kindergarten last month.
The California Highway Patrol confirmed the arrest Sunday of Marcus Anthony Eriz, 24, and Wynne Lee, 23, for the death of 6-year-old Aiden Leos, according to local station KABC.
“I’m very, very confident that we have the right individuals in custody,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said.
Authorities have provided few details about what led investigators to the suspects but were expected to hold a press conference about the arrests at some point on Monday.
Leos died the morning of May 21 after a gunman in another car opened fire on the vehicle he was riding in with his mother, Joanna Cloonan.
Cloonan told “Good Morning America” she had been taking her son to kindergarten in Yorba Linda when a white sedan abruptly cut her off while she traveled down the carpool lane of the 55 freeway. The vehicle later opened fire on her car, striking her son as he sat in his booster seat in the rear right side of the car.
“As I started to merge away from them, I heard a really loud noise,” Cloonan said. “And my son said, ‘Ow,’ and I had to pull over. And he got shot.”
The young boy was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
"They took my son's life away," Cloonan said. "He was beautiful and he was kind and he was precious, and you killed him for no reason. And I want to find them and I want there to be justice to be served for my son."
California Highway Patrol Commissioner Amanda Ray said in a statement obtained by KABC that she hoped the arrests on Sunday were the first step in achieving justice for the slain boy.
“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,” she said.
Spitzer told local station KCBS-TV that authorities expect to make charging decisions in the next 48 hours after reviewing the evidence in the case.
Authorities have said they believe they know where the firearm used to kill the boy is being kept and that they are working to obtain the weapon. Officials believe Eriz had likely been the shooter, while Lee drove the vehicle — which they said is believed to be a white Volkswagen Golf Sportswagon, according to the news station.
A $500,000 reward for information in the case had been offered following the boy’s death.
The suspects are reportedly being held at the Orange County Jail on $1 million bond.
A private funeral to lay the boy to rest was held Monday. Cloonan also remembered her slain son at a memorial service held Saturday.
“The joy he brought into our lives was insurmountable,” she said according to KABC. “My heart melted every time he laughed.”
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