A movie theater shooting on Tuesday night has left one teen dead and another in critical condition. The shooting reportedly happened during a screening of The Forever Purge at the Regal Edwards Corona Crossings & RPX theater in Corona, California. Theater employees discovered the two victims while cleaning up the theater after the screening, and an arrest has since been made by investigating officers.
Authorities identified the victims as 18-year-old Rylee Goodrich and 19-year-old Anthony Barajas, both of Corona. Barajas is a social influencer widely known on TikTok with more than 928,000 followers. The two were together attending a 9:35 p.m. screening of the movie and were shot shortly before midnight, according to authorities. Goodrich was pronounced dead on the scene while Barajas was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Per KABC, police have since arrested 20-year-old suspect Joseph Jimenez and booked him for murder, attempted murder, and robbery. He is being held on $2 million bail. Authorities believe the shooting was an unprovoked attack and that Jimenez acted alone. Police also say witnesses "in the area" helped locate the suspect, and a subsequent search warrant of his property turned up what is believed to be the murder weapon in this case.
"During the search of the residence, a firearm and additional evidence related to the crime scene were discovered. The firearm matched the caliber of the weapon used in the murder," authorities said in a press release.
Though Jimenez is in custody, there's still a lot for officers to investigate. It's unknown if Jimenez has any mental health issues or if he ever had any contact with the victims prior to the incident. Some might theorize that the violent content of The Forever Purge may have inspired the shooting, but police say they "have not learned anything of that type that's come into play for this particular scenario."
Goodrich played volleyball, ran track, and was a cheerleader at Corona High. She had been given a scholarship to Grand Canyon University in its STEM program and was home for the summer visiting family when the shooting occurred. Barajas has also been described as a standout soccer player at Mater Dei High and has many followers on his social media pages as a popular influencer.
The Forever Purge is the fifth installment of the long-running Purge movie series. Since the start, the central premise has been the government allowing one night per year in which all crime is legal. This latest movie follows a group of people attempting to escape when an insurrectionist movement continues to commit crimes and murders after the Purge was supposed to end. The Forever Purge is written by James DeMonaco and directed by Everardo Gout.
GoFundMe pages have been set up to help those affected by this senseless shooting. You can donate to the family of Rylee Goodrich to help her family during this difficult time. You can also donate to the Barajas family to help with his medical funds and other expenses as he fights for his life at the hospital. This news comes to us from KABC.