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Man guilty of murder of six-year-old boy after shooting into his mother's car in road rage dispute

A US man has been found guilty of murder after a six-year-old child was fatally shot in a road rage incident in southern California.

Marcus Anthony Eriz, 26, could be jailed for up to 40 years to life for killing Aiden Leos in May 2021, after getting into an argument with the boy's mother.

The pair clashed after driver Wynne Lee, 26 - who was Eriz's girlfriend - cut up Aiden's mother on State Route 55, officials said.

The woman made a single-finger gesture towards Eriz, who responded by firing his handgun at her car.

He hit Aiden, who was in the backseat, as she drove him to nursery.

A jury convicted Eriz of second-degree murder, an intentional killing that wasn't premeditated, after shooting into an occupied vehicle and two additions that increase the possible penalty, the Orange County District Attorney's Office said.

District attorney Todd Spitzer said Eriz killed Aiden "for no conceivable reason."

Mr Spitzer said: "A mom literally held her son, whose heart was bleeding, on the side of the freeway here in Orange County - because of the reckless and just cold-hearted behaviour of an individual who decided that he would carry a gun. And when the right time presented itself, he would use that gun."

Eriz's lawyer argued that he did not intend to kill anyone, but had "one moment of complete thoughtless act".

Lee has also been charged with accessory after the fact and having a concealed firearm in a vehicle, the district attorney's office said, and faces a maximum of three years in prison if convicted.

The pair were arrested at their home in Costa Mesa a little more than two weeks after the shooting, following a manhunt.

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Road rage shooting deaths in the US have increased every year since 2018, from 70 that year to 141 in 2022, with more people injured, gun law advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety said last year.

In an unrelated case, a US man has been convicted of firing into a car with a woman and her two children in Washington, in 2021, the US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia said on Thursday.

The woman was shot in the arm, and her five-year-old child was hurt by broken glass, the US attorney's office said.

The man also fired at bystanders, but none were hit.