In the ongoing trial of Marcus Anthony Eriz, charged with second-degree murder and related counts in connection with the fatal shooting of Aiden Leos in 2021, the victim’s mother, Joanna Cloonan, provided chilling details in court. According to The San Bernardino Sun, Cloonan testified that moments before the shooting, the suspect, Eriz, had smiled at her after a road rage incident.
During the May 2021 incident, Aiden was seated in the back of a Chevrolet sedan being driven by his mother. California Highway Patrol Officer Florentino Olivera revealed in a news conference, as reported by PEOPLE, that Wynn Lee, identified by CBS News and the Sun as Eriz’s girlfriend, was driving while Eriz occupied the passenger seat.
In an interview with Good Morning America shortly after the incident, Cloonan described how Lee’s car cut her off, prompting her to make a gesture. In court on Monday, she recounted the unsettling moments leading up to the shooting. Allegedly, after being gestured at, Eriz smiled at Cloonan. Trying to distance herself from the couple, she merged away and made a gesture with her middle finger, according to the Sun.
Cloonan claimed that Eriz looked at her and smiled after the gesture. She testified that she attempted to escape the situation as much as possible. Shortly afterward, she heard a noise resembling “a big rock hit the car” and then an “Ow!” from her son in the backseat, whose head was hanging down.
According to ABC7, two weeks after the shooting and one day after Aiden’s memorial service, Eriz was arrested. Despite authorities alleging that Eriz admitted to shooting at the car, he has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and shooting at a vehicle, as reported by ABC 7.
Lee, facing charges of accessory after the fact and having a firearm in a vehicle, is scheduled for a pretrial hearing in February, according to the Sun. The trial continues with the heart-wrenching testimony from Aiden Leos’s mother shedding light on the events that led to the tragic incident.