Just hours after after 6-year-old Aiden Leos was laid to rest on Monday morning, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) released a statement announcing the arrest of two suspects in connection with his shooting death:
Arrests made in shooting death of 6 year old Aiden Leos pic.twitter.com/tUGjp0ZfPC
— OCDA Todd Spitzer (@OCDAToddSpitzer) June 7, 2021
The suspects arrested are identified as Marcus Anthony Eriz, 24, and Wynne Lee, 23.
Both suspects are from Costa Mesa, Calif. No other details about the pair were given in the statement, however CBSLA reports the man and woman are “boyfriend and girlfriend.” Also, “Eriz is suspected of being the shooter, while Lee is believed to have been the driver.”
The nearly two-week manhunt for these suspects began soon after the kindergartener was killed last month while his mother was driving him to school on the 55 freeway in Orange, Calif. Almost immediately the CHP began searching for the occupants of a newer white Volkswagen station wagon that witnesses reported had fired at least one shot at the car Aiden was riding in.
A $50,000 reward fund was set up for information leading to the arrest of the suspects. A few days after the shooting, the reward fund had climbed to $500,000.
Late Monday afternoon, Assistant Chief Donald Goodbrand of the California Highway Patrol and Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer held a short press conference to update the public on the suspects’ arrests:
I’m pleased to report both suspects have been apprehended and will be appropriately charged in the murder of Aiden Leos, said Goodbrand. Both suspects–a male and female–are residents of Costa Mesa.
We have recovered what we believe are the weapon and automobile used in the crime.
The way law enforcement and other agencies cooperated along with “the indescribable outpouring of concern” from the public throughout the investigation was unprecedented in Goodbrand’s 25-year career, he said. That cooperation lead to the apprehension of the suspects:
“Tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock these two individuals will be arraigned in the Orange County Superior Court. We have given the case to our office to our lead prosecutor Whitney Borkowski, said Spitzer. We are reviewing the evidence and we are looking at every single legal theory in conjunction with that evidence and we will be making filing decisions with respect to both individuals…later today…or tomorrow.”
With respect to the differing levels of charges against the driver and the passenger of the Volkswagen, Spitzer made it clear his office would look at all available evidence and legal theories before charges are brought so the strongest possible case can be made against each suspect. He went on to say that although it’s not usual for those in the criminal justice system to make promises, he wanted to do just that:
We don’t want to make promises but there’s something about that that leaves me a little bit empty because I do want to promise–today when Aiden was put below ground–that we will get justice for him.
We have to promise him that.
It’s so important for that little boy to have set an example for the rest of society about how we treat each other…and how we get out of control so quickly today and take actions against other people and some people think without any responsibility whatsoever.
In the wake of a crime so senseless and in the midst of the left’s unrelenting attacks on law enforcement and calls to defund them, it sure is encouraging to see the hard work these men and women have put in to get justice for Aiden.
Currently, suspects Eriz and Lee are being held on $1 million bail. They are expected to be charged with murder.