A reward climbed to $200,000 Tuesday in the search for the shooter who killed a 6-year-old boy during an apparent road rage incident last week along the 55 Freeway in Orange.
Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner said the Board of Supervisors approved his request for $50,000 to be added to a $50,000 reward already being offered by the victim’s family for the arrest and conviction of the person who fatally shot Aiden Leos as he sat in a booster seat in his mother’s car.
Another $50,000 was matched by the office of fellow Supervisor Katrina Foley, bringing the reward total to $150,000.
“It is my hope this adds 150,000 reasons to encourage the public to send in any tips and information they might have, directly leading to the arrests of the individuals involved in Aiden’s death,” Foley said in a statement.
And, an anonymous donor added an additional $50,000 to the reward, bringing the total to $200,000, Aiden’s family members said.
The rewards, which Wagner described as “time critical,” were brought to the board as an emergency item Tuesday and approved the same day.
The shooting occurred about 8 a.m. last Friday as Aiden was being driven to kindergarten by his mother Joanna Cloonan.
Cloonan says a vehicle, described as possibly a white Volkswagen station wagon, cut her off in the carpool lane of the 55 Freeway near Chapman Avenue. Relatives told KTLA she then made a gesture at the other car.
“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 called 911 as soon as she realized her son had been shot. Aiden was rushed to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
“He was beautiful and he was kind and he was precious, and you killed him for no reason,” Cloonan said. “I want to find them and I want there to be justice to be served for my son.”
Wagner hopes that increasing the reward money will send a strong message to the community that safety is paramount.
“We don’t know what it’s going to take to crack this case but if you were in that area … you might have the key,” Wagner said.
A GoFundMe account to help the family raise money to offer as a reward has already received more than $225,000 in donations as of midday Tuesday.
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 that can identify the killer is asked to call CHP investigators at 714-567-6000.
Correction: An earlier version of this story gave the wrong first name for Supervisor Foley. The post has been updated.