One Year Ago Today (August 1, 2021)…The suspected gunman in a double shooting at a Corona movie theater is expected to face two murder charges at his arraignment after a second victim died.
Anthony Barajas, 19, of Corona — a TikTok influencer with nearly 1 million followers — died at Riverside Community Hospital early Saturday after being taken off life support, according to the Riverside County coroner’s office.
Barajas and his female friend, 18-year-old Rylee Goodrich of Corona, were both shot in the head on July 26 while watching a movie at the Regal Edwards Theater at Corona Crossings. Goodrich was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 20-year-old man suspected of gunning down the pair was charged with capital murder and attempted murder on Friday for Goodrich’s death. 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 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 Thursday.
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.
Authorities have not released information on a possible motive.
About 200 people attended a vigil on Saturday for the slain teens at the movie theater where the shooting occurred, one of a few gatherings held last week to honor the victims.
A candlelight vigil for Barajas and his family was held 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 over $150,000 as of Sunday morning.
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 and rampant violence. 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. on July 27.
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.