Relatives of a kindergartener killed in a road-rage shooting on the 55 Freeway in Orange announced a $50,000 reward Sunday, May 23 for information leading to the arrest of a suspect.
The money is to come from crowdfunding efforts, including a GoFund Me page that raised more than $150,000 in donations over the weekend to help the family of 6-year-old Aiden Leos with funeral and other expenses.
A separate GoFundMe campaign was created by relatives Sunday for people who specifically want to donate money to help identify Aiden’s killer.
Regardless of how much the new page raises, the reward will be covered, said Carla Lacy, Aiden’s step-grandmother, referring to the funds already collected.
The boy was riding in a booster seat while on his way to school Friday, May 21, when he was fatally wounded by a bullet believed to have come from a car described as a white Volkswagen station wagon.
“The tremendous support we’ve seen over the past few days has been so important to his family,” Lacy said Sunday. “The whole world is grieving with us, and wants answers with us.”
Investigators believe two people may have been inside the Volkswagen at the time of the shooting. No possible suspects in the killing were publicly identified by police as of Sunday afternoon.
Aiden’s relatives urged the shooter, or anyone who might be able to lead investigators to them, to come forward. Lacy said she hopes whoever was responsible feels enough remorse to turn themselves in.
“I would want them to know what their decision that day did to destroy this family,” Lacy said. “Aiden was a sweet, compassionate boy, and the very purpose of his parents’ lives.”
Lacy recalled a time when Aiden came to the aid of a child having a seizure at the park while other kids turned away.
Aiden’s parents have sought comfort with loved ones and privacy, Lacy said. Some of the boy’s relatives have gathered every night since his death at a growing memorial left on an overpass near the scene of the shooting.
“I know his sister will be there tonight,” Lacy said. “Because that’s where she feels like her brother is, and she doesn’t want to be away from him.”
The boy’s mother, Joanna Cloonan, was emotionally drained after tearfully pleading for justice for her son during an interview with Good Morning America on Sunday. She was “shaking the whole time,” Lacy said.
“But she felt like she had to, like whoever killed her son needed to see her face.”
Source: Orange County Register