The mother of a six-year-old boy who was fatally shot in a road rage incident in Southern California has recalled the moment she cradled her son as he died in her arms.
Aiden Leos was shot and killed in Orange County when a bullet fired from a vehicle went through the back of his mother's sedan and into his carseat as he was driven to daycare.
"They took my son's life away," Aiden's mother, Joanna Cloonan, told Good Morning America.
Cloonan pleaded for the person who fired the gun to be caught.
"He was beautiful and he was kind and he was precious, and you killed him for no reason.
"And I want to find them and I want there to be justice to be served for my son."
She said the tragic outcome happened after she was cut off on the motorway during a road rage incident.
"I was driving on the freeway, and there was a car behind me that cut me off abruptly. I was in the carpool lane with my son, and as I started to merge away from them, I heard a really loud noise, and my son said, 'ow', and I had to pull over, and he got shot."
Cloonan pulled over to try to save her son, but to no avail. His final words were "Mummy, my tummy hurts."
The Daily Mail reported he had been killed by a male passenger in a car being driven by a woman.
Witnesses who had pulled over to help after the shooting said they saw Cloonan cradling her son.
They reportedly overhearing her tell police that she was cut off by a white sedan and that she had gestured at the driver. The vehicle is believed to be a newer model white Volkswagen wagon sedan.
As she tried to pull away to exit, the bullets struck her trunk and then hit her son in the backseat.
Cloonan said she tried everything to save her son.
"I pulled over and I took him out of the car and I tried to put my hand on his wounds while calling 911," she said.
"He was losing a lot of blood."
An off-duty police office stopped to perform CPR and paramedics arrived on the scene.
"She had blood on her clothes and he started turning blue and that's when the ambulance took him and that was the last time my mum saw him alive," said Alexis Cloonan, Aidan's sister, during a tearful family press conference on Friday.
"Please help us find the people that did this to my little brother. He's only six and he was so sweet. He was a very loving boy so please help us find who did this to him.
"[My mum] had to hold her little boy as he died so she is very distraught right now," Alexis explained.
"He was a rare toddler. I just loved having him in my life."
Aiden celebrated his sixth birthday last week. A GoFundMe set up over the weekend has raised more than US$180,000.
Aiden's aunt, Carol Ybanez, said her family will never be the same.
"This is a single mum with two kids, she's broken, and she's going to need help," she said.
Aidan's mother told Good Morning America she was devastated.
"He meant the world to me, and it feels like my life is over," Cloonan said.
"That was my baby. I've never, never thought pain like this could exist."