Family members of Aiden Leos held a vigil Tuesday night after the 6-year-old California boy was shot dead in an apparent road-rage incident last week.
The vigil took place on a freeway overpass in Orange, California, near where an unidentified suspect shot and killed the boy on Friday. A manhunt was underway for the suspect, authorities said.
“I’m just thankful my brother gets to have a family as beautiful as he is,” said Leos’s sister, Alexis Cloonan, as she stood near relatives on the overpass, which was filled with flowers, balloons and stuffed animals left by members of the community over the weekend, according to the Orange County Register.
CALIFORNIA MOM SPEAKS OUT AFTER SON, 6, WAS FATALLY SHOT IN AN APPARENT ROAD-RAGE INCIDENT
“I’ve been reading all of the comments people have been leaving, and it’s crazy to me that strangers can be so caring,” Cloonan added. “My mom reads all of the comments too — it makes her smile.”
“Justice for Aiden” and “You are missed Lil one,” were among the messages written on the concrete wall of the overpass, according to the paper.
Joanna Cloonan, the boy’s mother, said she was driving northbound when a white Volkswagen station wagon cut her off, reports said. Cloonan responded by making a “rude gesture,” according to the paper.
BOY, 6, SHOT DEAD IN CALIFORNIA ON WAY TO SCHOOL IN APPARENT ROAD-RAGE INCIDENT
The other driver opened fire between 7:55 a.m. and 8:15 a.m., California Highway Patrol Officer John DeMatteo told FOX 11 of Los Angeles. The child was sitting in the right rear passenger booster seat at the time of the shooting, DeMatteo added.
“It was an isolated road rage incident between the mom and another driver from a white sedan,” CHP Officer Florentino Olivera noted at the scene. “Not sure if there were passengers in that white sedan, but apparently there was a shot fired from that sedan into the silver car, and unfortunately the child that was seated in the right rear seat was struck.”
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After the shooting, the mother pulled over and called 911. Aiden was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, DeMatteo said.
On Tuesday, Orange County officials pledged to triple the previous $50,000 reward for anyone providing tips that help lead to an arrest of a suspect. The reward was increased to $200,000 after Cloonan said the family received a letter from a local business pledging $50,000.
Orange is about 30 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.