Arrests made in California freeway shooting death of 6-year-old boy.
Authorities suspect pair from Costa Mesa as culprits
By Brian Rokos, Tony Saavedra and Nathaniel Percy | Staff writers
A man and woman suspected in the May 21 shooting death of 6-year-old Aiden Anthony Leos on the 55 Freeway in Orange were arrested in Costa Mesa on Sunday, the California Highway Patrol said.
Authorities, who sources said were acting on a tip, arrested the boyfriend and girlfriend at 1:30p.m. at their home.
Officials identified the pair as Marcus Anthony Eriz, 24, and Wynne Lee, 23. “They are expected to be charged with murder,” a CHP news release said.
Both were being held in an Orange County jail in lieu of $1 million bail each, jail records show.
Law enforcement officials were authoring search warrants Sunday to look for the gun and the vehicle the couple was suspected of driving at the time of the shooting.
The pair work in Highland in San Bernardino County, sources said.
A banner outside Saturday’s memorial service at Calvary Chapel in Yorba Linda was put up for 6-year-old Aiden Leos, who was shot to death on the 55Freeway in Costa Mesa on May 21. Two arrests were made Sunday. BRIAN ROKOS STAFF
The CHP did not confirm Sunday evening how investigators linked the couple to the shooting.
Eriz did not appear to have a documented criminal record in Orange County. Online court records show two tickets for unauthorized driving in the HOV lane, a ticket for failure to have a license plate and a ticket for failure to have insurance.
No entries could be found for Lee in the court records.
Eriz’s occupation in jail records was listed as car auto detailer. Lee was listed as being unemployed.
The shooting — which authorities called an act of road rage following a lane change — received national attention and prompted an outpouring of grief and support.
After the dispute between Aiden’s mother, Joanna Cloonan, and the occupants of another vehicle, a male passenger fired at least one round from an unknown caliber pistol at Cloonan in the northbound lanes near Chapman Avenue, according to the CHP. The shot pierced the trunk and Aiden’s booster seat, entering his back.
Aiden died at a hospital.
The CHP had been looking for a white Volkswagen wagon that was last seen heading toward Riverside on the 91 Freeway. A woman was driving, and a male passenger fired the shot, the CHP said. Reward money for identifying them had reached $500,000 as of this weekend.
The family is declining to comment on the arrest until after Aiden’s burial Monday and a CHP briefing, a family spokesperson said Sunday.
At a memorial service Saturday, Aiden was eulogized as a loving boy who had a knack for making others feel good.
“I want nothing more than to find justice, though it won’t bring you back into my arms,” Cloonan said at Calvary Chapel in Yorba Linda. “My precious son had his life ripped away for absolutely no reason.”
The cover of the program for Saturday’s memorial service for Aiden Leos, the 6-year-old boy who was shot and killed on his way to kindergarten in his mother’s car on the 55 Freeway in Orange on May 21. Authorities on Sunday arrested two people from Costa Mesa in the shooting. Both are being held in an Orange County jail. MARK RIGHTMIRE STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
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