Mom Testified that Accused Road Rage Shooter Smiled at Her Before Firing Shot that Killed 6-Year-Old Son

Joanna Cloonan spoke at the trial of Marcus Anthony Eriz, who authorities say has acknowledged shooting Aiden Leos in May 2021


• Joanna Cloonan reportedly testified in court in the murder trial of Marcus Anthony Eriz

• Eriz is accused of fatally shooting Aiden Leos, 6, in May 2021 during a road rage incident

• Cloonan reportedly testified that Eriz's girlfriend flashed a peace sign at them before Cloonan made the middle-finger gesture

A California woman whose son was fatally shot in 2021 in what authorities say was a road rage incident has said in court that the suspect smiled at her before opening fire, according to a newspaper report.

Joanna Cloonan, the mother of Aiden Leos, spoke Monday in the trial of Marcus Anthony Eriz, who has been charged with second-degree murder and other counts, The San Bernardino Sun reports.

In the May 2021 shooting, Aiden was sitting in the backseat of a Chevrolet sedan while his mother was driving, the California Highway Patrol Officer Florentino Olivera said during a news conference, PEOPLE reported at the time.

Wynn Lee, who CBS News and the Sun report is Eriz's girlfriend, was driving while Eriz was in the passenger seat of the car, Spritzer said in the news conference at the time.

Related: California Couple Charged in Fatal Road Rage Shooting of 6-Year-Old Aiden Leos

Soon after the shooting, Cloonan said in an interview with Good Morning America that as she was driving with her son, Lee’s car cut her off.

In court Monday, she recounted the eerie moments right before the shooting, the Sun reports. She alleged that after cutting her off, Lee flashed a “peace” sign at her, per the outlet. 

Marcus Anthony Eriz and Wynne Lee
Marcus Anthony Eriz and Wynne Lee

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Cloonan testified that she did not want to be driving near the couple so she tried to merge away from them and made the middle-finger gesture, according to the Sun.

“He looked at me and smiled, after the gesture,” Cloonan alleged of Eriz, per the Sun. “I tried to get away as much as I could.”

Related: Calif. Family Pleads for Answers After Road Rage Shooting Kills 6-Year-Old Boy

Moments later, she heard a noise that she said sounded as though “a big rock hit the car,” she said, according to the outlet. She then heard, “Ow!” from her son who was sitting behind her and turned to see that his “his head was hanging down.”

Two weeks after the shooting, and one day after Aiden's memorial service, the suspects were arrested, according to ABC7.

Eriz, who authorities allege has admitted to shooting at the car, has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and shooting at a vehicle, ABC 7 reports.

Lee, who has been charged with accessory after the fact and being in possession of a firearm in a vehicle, is set to have a pretrial hearing in February, per the Sun.

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