Orange County leaders continue to pour money into a reward fund in hopes of tracking down the shooter who killed a 6-year-old boy in a road-rage incident last week on the 55 Freeway in Orange.
The reward in Aiden Leos’ death jumped to $250,000 earlier Wednesday after O.C. supervisors, District Attorney Todd Spitzer and local businesses put forth money on top of the family’s $50,000. By the end of Wednesday, the pot totaled $300,000 “as another source of funds has been confirmed,” said. O.C. Supervisor Don Wagner.
“I’m glad to hear the reward is increasing; this shows our entire community wants justice for Aiden and his family,” Wagner said in a statement. He did not disclose the source of the last $50,000 added.
The money is tied to information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person who fatally shot the 6-year-old on his way to kindergarten in Yorba Linda.
“Aiden’s killer will be held accountable for this atrocity,” said Wagner, who represents both Orange and Yorba Linda. “Please come forward if you have any information or know someone who may have information that could crack this case.”
The boy was shot about 8 a.m. last Friday after his mother, Joanna Cloonan, says a vehicle, possibly a white Volkswagen station wagon, cut her off in the carpool lane of the 55 Freeway near Chapman Avenue.
“As I started to merge away from them, I heard a really loud noise,” Cloonan told ABC News. “And my son said, ‘Ow,’ and I had to pull over. And he got shot.”
Cloonan immediately called 911, but Leos was pronounced dead after being rushed to the hospital.
The boy had celebrated his 6th birthday the week before.
“He meant the world to me, and it feels like my life is over,” Cloonan said. “That was my baby. I’ve never, never thought pain like this could exist.”
A GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the family’s reward had garnered about $245,000 as of Wednesday night.
The suspect vehicle was carrying a female driver and male passenger. The California Highway Patrol is asking anyone who was on the 55 Freeway near the 22 Freeway and Chapman Avenue between 7:15 and 8:15 a.m. May 21 check for dashcam or cellphone video.
Anyone with information can contact CHP at SantaAnaCHPtipline@chp.ca.gov or 800-835-5247.
Editorial note: The CHP contact email has been updated to reflect the proper address.