California mom speaks out after son, 6, was fatally shot in an apparent road-rage incident


The mother of a six-year-old boy who was the victim of an apparent road-rage shooting last week in southern California recalled the devastating moment that she realized her son had been shot during an interview Sunday. 

Joanna Cloonan, the mother of Aiden Leos, told NBC San Diego that she was driving on the northbound 55 Freeway in Orange at about 8 a.m. on Friday when she was cut off by a couple in a white Volkswagen. She told the station that she was merging away from the carpool lane and heard a loud noise.

“And I heard my son say, ‘Ow,’” she said. 

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Leos was sitting in a booster seat in the back seat at the time. He had been shot. She pulled over as soon as she could. She called 911 and did her best to save him, but he was losing a lot of blood. He was rushed to Children’s Hospital of Orange County where he was pronounced dead.

Fox 11 Los Angeles reported that there is a reward for information leading to an arrest tied to the shooting. The station reported that the family’s GoFundMe page has raised $173,000 as of Sunday. Family members said they would give a portion of the money raised to a reward for information leading to an arrest.

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“Due to the outpouring of love and support, we have reached our goal. However, we would like to continue to raise money that will go towards a reward in hopes of finding the individuals that took Aiden’s life,” the GoFundMe post said.

The report said the vehicle may be a newer Volkswagen sedan. Florentino Olivera, an officer from California Highway Patrol, told Fox 11 that the shooting was an “isolated road rage incident between the mom and another driver from a white sedan.”

Cloonan told NBC that her son was so special that it felt like he wasn’t human at times. 

“He was unbelievably kind and sweet,” she said.

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