Two suspects were charged in a road rage shooting in the U.S. state of California that killed a 6-year-old boy last month, authorities said Tuesday.
The suspected shooter, Marcus Anthony Eriz, 24, was charged today with murder, while Wynne Lee, 23, was charged with accessory, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office. “Marcus Eriz eligible for life sentence for murder and Wynne Lee facing 4 years for accessory after the fact in murder of 6 year old Aiden Leos in road rage incident on 55 fwy(freeway),” tweeted Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.
“Thanks to the help of the community and the media for helping to get the word out about our manhunt for those responsible in the shooting death of 6-year-old Aiden Leos. The unwavering support for law enforcement in this case speaks to the commitment of the Orange County community to justice and public safety,” Spitzer noted.
Eriz and his girlfriend Lee were believed to be responsible for the killing of the boy in the road rage shooting that shocked Southern California and the nation. A reward for information in the fatal case, funded by the boy’s family members, businesses, local officials and the public, has grown to 500,000 U.S. dollars.
The pair were arrested Sunday by police at their home in Orange County after a weeks-long intensive manhunt. According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the boy’s mother, Joanna Cloonan, was driving a silver Chevrolet Sonic while the 6-year-old was seated in the rear passenger area on May 21.
“Ms. Cloonan and the occupants of a white Volkswagen station wagon were involved in a road rage incident over a perceived unsafe lane change. A shooting occurred when an occupant in the Volkswagen fired at least one round from an unknown caliber pistol into the rear of the Chevrolet Sonic, killing Aiden,” said the CHP in a press release on Sunday.
Children are often the victims of gun violence in the United States. More than 300 children and 1,300 teenagers were shot in gun violence in the United States in the first four months this year.
As of Tuesday, 130 children aged between 0 and 11 and 533 teens aged between 12 and 17 have been killed in gun violence across the country, according to data released by the nonprofit group Gun Violence Archive.