A man was arrested in connection with a shooting that killed an 18-year-old woman and seriously wounded a 19-year-old social media influencer as they watched “The Forever Purge” at a Southern California movie theater, police said. Rylee Goodrich is dead, and Anthony Barajas was on life support.
Authorities said there is no known motive for the violence and that the shooting Monday appeared to be “an unprovoked attack.”
The teens from Corona were found by theater workers cleaning up after the 9:35 p.m. showing of the violent horror movie at The Crossings mall in Corona, southeast of Los Angeles, Corona Police Department Corporal Tobias Kouroubacalis told CBS Los Angeles. During a Wednesday morning press conference, Kouroubacalis said they were found near or on their seats.
“At some point, the employee or employees walk inside the theater to conduct their clean-up or walk through and that’s when the 911 call was placed,” Kouroubacalis said. “[They said] that there was an unknown problem, somebody was bleeding, there wasn’t very specific information given.”
Barajas, known online as itsanthonymichael, has nearly a million followers on TikTok, and more on other platforms.
The suspect, 20-year-old Joseph Jimenez, was booked Tuesday night on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and robbery. He is being held on $2 million bail, and Kouroubacalis said he would be arraigned in the coming days.
A firearm that matched the caliber of the weapon used in the shooting was found at his home, police said, according to CBS LA. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Kouroubacalis told reporters Wednesday that witnesses provided information to police that led them in the suspect’s direction. Investigators are confident he acted alone, Kouroubacalis said.
“There’s no information the suspect and the victims had any prior contact before these crimes took place,” he said.
Kouroubacalis said the suspect had a ticket for the movie. He also said investigators don’t have any information suggesting the suspect was inspired by the movie.
“During the actual movie time, no one apparently heard the gunshot,” Kailyn Dillon, an employee who was not working at the time, told CBS LA on Tuesday. “I know that we do have security bag checks that we do on the daily and, unfortunately, I’m not sure if it just was missed or if it was in a holster on their belt.”
Authorities said the two victims attended the movie together. However, it was not immediately clear who else was in the theater with them, though records show a total of six tickets were purchased for that showing.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Goodrich’s family cover her funeral costs.
“You don’t expect to like get home from work and then finding out that your cousin was shot in the back of the head,” Ashley Cole, Goodrich’s cousin, told CBS LA. “When there’s only six people in a movie theater, to me, that’s not what I imagine someone that’s not going with intentions to kill someone to do.”