LOS ANGELES (KTLA) – A 6-year-old boy was shot and killed during an apparent road rage incident in Southern California on Friday morning, and the gunman remains at large, California Highway Patrol officials said.
The child, identified as Aiden Leos, was sitting in a booster seat in the right rear passenger side of his mother’s car when he was struck by the gunfire on the northbound 55 in Orange around 8:10 a.m., according to CHP Officer Florentino Olivera.
Leos was transported by the Orange Fire Department to Children’s Hospital Orange County, where he died. Authorities have not identified the victim.
“It’s unfortunate we lost a boy this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with the mom and the family,” Olivera said.
Investigators spoke with the boy’s mother, who was not injured, as they tried to piece together the events that led up to the deadly gunfire. They are also trying to determine how many shots were fired.
The shooter is believed to have been in a white sedan, but authorities do not have a detailed description of the car or suspect.
Olivera described the road rage incident as “isolated” and said it was unrelated to a string of more than 60 BB or pellet gun shootings that have been reported in Orange, Riverside and Los Angeles counties in the past three weeks, mostly along the 91 Freeway.
CHP is pleading with witnesses to come forward, particularly anyone whose vehicle is equipped with a dash camera and was traveling on the northbound 55 between the 22 Freeway and Chapman between 7:55 a.m. and 8:15 a.m.
“If you were driving by, you saw something that was not right, call it in, even it wasn’t something major, call our office,” Olivera said.
“Please help us find the people that did this to my little brother,” his sister, Alexis Cloonan, said at the press conference. “He’s only 6 and he was so sweet. … I loved having him in my life.”
The northbound side of the freeway was closed for more than three hours amid the active investigation. All lanes reopened before noon.