O.C. Supervisors join family in offering reward in fatal shooting of Costa Mesa 6-year-old
Orange County Supervisors Donald Wagner and Katrina Foley have joined the family of the late Aiden Leos in its determined search for the suspect who shot and killed the Costa Mesa 6-year-old in an apparent road rage incident on the 55 Freeway in Orange last week.
Leos died after a gunman fired into his mother’s car while the vehicle was traveling in the northbound lanes around 8 a.m. on Friday. He had been on his way to a kindergarten class in Yorba Linda.
Wagner and Foley both decided to contribute from the discretionary budgets of their respective offices, matching the family’s offering and bringing the total reward to $150,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.
Aiden’s family had put up a $50,000 reward for information that assisted in the investigation. Wagner asked the Orange County Board of Supervisors to allow him to match it via his discretionary budget with the incident occurring in his district.
“I can’t imagine the horror, and there’s nothing we can do to undo it,” Wagner told reporters at a press conference prior to Tuesday’s board meeting. “Maybe this is a little something we can do to help at least bring this person to justice and closure for this family, to the extent that’s even possible.”
Foley also set aside $50,000 as reward money with Aiden’s family residing in Costa Mesa, part of her district and the city where she previously served as mayor. The Board of Supervisors approved both contributions.
“Helping with the investigation, ‘All hands on deck,’ is what I say,” Foley said. “Anybody who can help. If anyone saw anything, if anyone knows these people and has heard them talking about it, report it, be a good citizen, and do the right thing because we just can’t let people go around shooting people on the freeway. That cannot be tolerated in a civilized society.”
The gunman fled after the shooting near West Chapman Avenue, police said. The child died after being rushed to the hospital.
The California Highway Patrol is asking for tips using the phone number 800-TELL-CHP (835-5247) or by emailing email@example.com.
Investigators have described the suspect’s vehicle as a white sedan, possibly a Volkswagen sedan. Aiden’s mother was driving a silver Chevrolet Cruze sedan, authorities said.
Costa Mesa Mayor John Stephens, who described the family’s loss as “a parent’s worst nightmare,” said that he had spoken to Foley. He said he learned Tuesday morning that Aiden’s mother, Joanna Cloonan, was a Costa Mesa resident.
Stephens added that he had been in contact with city staff about bringing an agenda item to consider contributing to the reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for the death of Aiden. He indicated the item would be put on the agenda for the next Costa Mesa City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 1.
“I was just thinking about it this morning, how terrible it is to lose anyone at that age,” Stephens said. “There’s just not words for something like that. I have four kids of my own, so I just can’t even wrap my mind around the grief and the sadness that the family must be going through.”
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