SANTA ANA, Calif .– A Southern California man accused of killing a 6-year-old boy in a road rage incident last month told police he pulled out a gun and fired on a car on the freeway after becoming angry with a driver who made a rude gesture, prosecutors said.
Orange County prosecutors wrote in a court document filed on Wednesday that murder suspect Marcus Eriz, 24, told police on June 6 that he seized the loaded gun, rolled down the window and shot the car driven by a woman who waved at him on a freeway on his way to work on May 21.
The gunshot killed 6-year-old Aiden Leos as he sat in a booster seat in the back of his mother’s car on his way to kindergarten, prosecutors said.
Days later, a colleague told Eriz authorities were looking for a car similar to the one he used with his girlfriend, Wynne Lee, 23, who has since been accused of being an accomplice after the fact, according to the report. court record.
Eriz then hid the car in a relative’s garage and instead started using a red truck, shaved his beard and started pulling his hair, prosecutors said in the document, while qualifying Eriz of “extreme danger” and asking the court to deny him bail.
Eriz and Lee are set to be brought to justice on Friday in the case that has sparked outrage in the county of 3 million people, where many people, like Leos, depend on freeways to get to work and school.
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The couple were arrested outside their apartment in Costa Mesa on June 6. Eriz was charged with murder and shooting an occupied vehicle and improvements and was held on $ 2 million bail. Lee faces an ancillary charge and a charge of illegally carrying a concealed firearm and is being held on $ 500,000 bond.
Eriz’s attorney Randall Bethune and Lee’s attorney Tom Nocella declined to comment ahead of the arraignment.
In the court document, prosecutors said Leos’ mother was driving on the freeway on May 21 when she was cut off by a car driven by Lee and Eriz, to which she responded by brutally raising her finger. She then heard a loud bang and her son said “ow” and she stopped and saw that he was bleeding from his chest, according to the document.
Days later, prosecutors said Eriz brandished a gun at another driver on the highway.
“This brazen act of threatening other commuters with a loaded firearm shows this court that the defendant cannot control his emotions and the slightest event can put him in a lethal rage,” prosecutor Whitney Bokosky wrote in the folder.
Prosecutors said Lee was also at risk of absconding and suggested his bond remain at $ 500,000.
In the weeks following Leos’ death, authorities offered a reward for tips leading to an arrest and said they had received hundreds from the community.
They said the couple’s car, a white Volkswagen Golf SportWagen, was relatively rare and this helped investigators locate it through surveillance footage.