A TikTok influencer with nearly 1 million followers who was left on life support after a double shooting inside a Corona movie theater died Saturday morning from his injuries, police said.
Anthony Barajas, 19, of Corona and his female friend, 18-year-old Rylee Goodrich of Corona, were both shot in the head on Monday night while watching a movie at the Regal Edwards Theater at Corona Crossings. Goodrich was pronounced dead at the scene and Barajas was left clinging to life at a hospital.
The 20-year-old man suspected of gunning down the pair was charged with capital murder and attempted murder on Friday.
The charges against Joseph Jimenez include a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait, which opens him up to a possible death sentence if prosecutors opt to pursue it. He also faces sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.
Corona police officials said Saturday that they were working with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office to add an additional count of first-degree murder against Jimenez in light of Barajas’ death.
Jimenez, a Corona resident, appeared at the Riverside Hall of Justice on Friday afternoon but did not enter a plea. Riverside County Superior Court Judge William Lebov ordered the defendant held in custody without bail, and rescheduled arraignment for Aug. 5.
Authorities have not released any possible motive for the shooting.
After Friday’s brief court hearing, Goodrich’s father, David, stood as Jimenez was being led from the courtroom and repeatedly shouted, “Look at me, look at me,” before breaking down in tears.
The victims were two of six ticket-holders for the 9:35 p.m. showing of “The Forever Purge,” a horror film about societal collapse. Jimenez also had a ticket for the movie. Theater employees discovered the victims when they began cleaning the theater after the film ended.
Prosecutors said based on the evidence, the shooting appears to have been a “random and unprovoked attack.” Corona Police Department spokesman Cpl. Tobias Kouroubacalis said earlier that “There is no information that the suspect and victims had any prior contact before the shooting.”
Jimenez was arrested at about 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Kouroubacalis could not confirm where the suspect and victims were seated in relation to one another and at what point in the film the shooting occurred.
“We’re still trying to determine who was in the theater before, during and after,” he said.
According to Kouroubacalis, none of the security surveillance cameras in the theater or the shopping center captured the suspect or the shooting.
“There were witnesses who came forward who led us in the direction of the suspect and helped identify him,” he said.
A search warrant was served Tuesday night at a residence in the 19000 block of Envoy Avenue, near Diamond Street in El Cerrito, culminating in Jimenez’s arrest, as well as the seizure of a handgun, according to Kouroubacalis.
Prosecutors said the handgun is the same caliber as the weapon believed used in the shooting.
Police and prosecutors said Jimenez has no known gang affiliation.
Information on Jimenez’s background was unavailable, but Kouroubacalis said he wasn’t aware of prior convictions.
A candlelight vigil for Barajas and his family was held on Friday at Santa Ana’s Mater Dei High School, where Barajas graduated in 2019.
“The Mater Dei family is shocked and saddened by the senseless act of violence that has critically wounded a beloved member of our community, Anthony Barajas,” Mater Dei President Father Walter Jenkins said in a statement. “We join all of those impacted by this tragedy in praying for comfort and healing and have reached out to the Barajas family to be of support in every way possible.”
Barajas was a captain on the school’s soccer team, and was considered a social media influencer on TikTok, on which he has nearly 1 million followers under the moniker @itsanthonymichael.
Meanwhile, a vigil in memory of Goodrich took place Friday evening at New Beginnings Community Church in Norco.
GoFundMe pages have been established for Barajas and Goodrich’s families. The pages had raised more than $136,000 combined as of Saturday morning.
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