Joseph Jimenez is a California man accused of shooting two people at random at a screening of The Forever Purge at a Corona movie theater, killing Rylee Goodrich and seriously injuring Anthony Barajas. The shooting happened on July 27, 2021, about 10 p.m., Corona Police said in a press release.
The 20-year-old Jimenez has been charged with murder, attempted murder and robbery, Corona Police said. Goodrich, 18, and Barajas, 19, are both from Corona. They were inside the theater watching the movie when they were shot, police said. “Based on statements obtained, there is no known motive and it appears to be an unprovoked attack,” according to police.
Barajas is on life support, CBS News reports. He is known on social media as “itsanthonymichael.” Barajas, an artist, has nearly a million followers on TikTok, where he posts videos of his daily life in California, along with comedy videos and clips of him singing.
Goodrich graduated from Corona High School in 2020 and was studying at Grand Canyon University in Arizona, according to her Instagram profile. After her graduation in June 2020, Goodrich wrote, “o the graduating class of 2020… we’ve been through fires, pandemics, protests, deaths, and the loss of our senior year. all i can say is we all experienced some thing’s no other graduating class will. if you haven’t heard, i’ll be continuing my education and club volleyball career at GCU, LOPES UP💜 love you all, stay strong❤️.”
Here’s what you need to know about Joseph Jimenez and the shootings of Rylee Goodrich and Anthony Barajas:
1. Police Say No One Heard the Gunshots & Goodrich & Barjaas Were Found With Gunshot Wounds by Employees Who Came in to Clean the Theater
Six tickets were purchased for the showing of The Forever Purge at the Edwards Theater at the Crossings at Corona shopping center, Corona Police Corporal Tobias Kouroubacalis said at a press conference on July 28. Police do not know if there was anybody else inside the theater with Jimenez, Goodrich and Barajas when the shooting occurred. According to police, no one reported hearing gunshots.
“There were witnesses there as well,” Kouroubacalis said. “I don’t know if they were specifically in the theater at the time or if they responded to our cry for help regarding anybody in the theater or in the parking lot if they saw anything.”
The victims were found in their seats by employees after the movie stopped playing. Kouroubacalis said, “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.” He said the 911 caller reported someone was bleeding and did not give many details.
Kailyn Dillon, who works at the theater but was not working at the time of the shooting, told CBS Los Angeles, “During the actual movie time, no one apparently heard the gunshot. I know that we do have security bag checks that we do on the daily and, unfortunately, I’m not sure if just was missed or if it was in a holster on their belt.”
Ashley Cole, Goodrich’s cousin, told the news station, “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. 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.”
2. There’s No Evidence That Jimenez Knew Either of the Victims, Police Say, Adding That He Had a Ticket to the Movie
Police said witnesses came forward that provided information that led them to Jimenez. But authorities have not yet released specific information of what pointed them toward Jimenez. Kouroubacalis said the cameras inside the theater were not recording and surveillance video in the shopping center was not helpful.
“We have determined that he acted alone in this murder, attempted murder and robbery,” Kouroubacalis said at the press conference about Jimenez. “We do not have a motive for this heinous, unprovoked crime and there’s no information the suspect and the victims had any prior contact before these crimes took place. … It was completely unprovoked and the victims were shot without any prior contact.” Kouroubacalis also said he does not believe the suspect knew Barajas was a social media influencer.
Kouroubacalis added, “There’s no indication there was any kind of motive or reason why this actually happened. No argument, no disturbance, no contact with the victims prior to, during or after the movie that we’re aware of at this point.” He said while Jimenez was charged with robbery and is accused of taking something from the victims, it is not believed that robbery was the motive for the shootings.
Kouroubacalis told reporters at a press conference that Jimenez “was in possession of a ticket” but he said he couldn’t say if Jimenez purchased the ticket or how he came to have it. When asked if there’s any indication the violence in the movie played a role in the shooting, Kouroubacalis said, “Through our investigation we have not learned anything of that type that’s come into play for this particular scenario.”
The Forever Purge is an action and horror movie by Blumhouse that was released on July 2, 2021, according to its website. It is the fifth film in the Purge movie series. The movie series’ premise is that the government has set up one night a year where everything, including murder and robbery, is legal.
3. Little Is Known About Jimenez, Who Is a Corona Resident
Police said they found a handgun in the home were Jimenez was arrested that matched the caliber of the casings located at the theater crime scene. Kouroubacalis did not say what type of gun was used in the shootings, other than that it was a handgun.
Police said, “additional evidence related to the crime scene were discovered” at Jimenez’s residence. According to Kouroubacalis, police are not aware of any violent history or any criminal history at all involving Jimenez. He also said he did not know if Jimenez lives by himself or with his parents or someone else.
Kouroubacalis said, “the investigation was conducted in parternship with the Riverside County Major Crimes Bureau Forensic Services team and also the Riverside County Gang Impact Team. The Gang Impact Team is used a resource to apprehend or help find suspects in gun-related crimes. There’s no gang affiliation related to this crime that we know of at this time.”
4. Jimenez Is Being Held on $2 Million Bail as the Investigation Continues
Jimenez is being held on $2 million bail at the Riverside County Jail, according to online records. He was arrested about 8 p.m. on July 27 in the 19000 block of Envoy Avenue in unincorporated Corona, police said. Jimenez is scheduled to appear in Riverside court on July 30, 2021, at 8 a.m.
Kouroubacalis said, “We can’t imagine the significant amount of pain both families and the friends are feeling right now. But we hope the suspect’s arrest will bring some relief in knowing that he’s in jail now.”
The investigation into the shooting is continuing. Police said, “Anyone who has additional information are asked to call the Corona Police Department Anonymous TIP Line at 951-817-5837 or contact Senior Detective Slaven Neagu at 951-739-4916 or email him at Slaven.Neagu@CoronaCA.gov.”
5. Goodrich’s Family Says Her ‘Kindness & Gentle Spirit Will Be Remembered Forever,’ While Barajas’ Family Says He Is ‘the Light of So Many Peoples Lives’
Rylee Goodrich’s family said in a GoFundMe set up to help with funeral costs, “Words seem inadequate to express the sorrow felt by the loss of Rylee. Her kindness, and gentle spirit will be remembered forever. Please keep the Goodrich and Barajas family in your prayers.” They said she was killed in a “senseless act of violence.”
Goodrich played volleyball, ran track and was a cheerleader at Corona High School, according to her social media pages. She was entering her sophomore year of college in the fall and was. studying marketing, Grand Canyon University said in a statement. She had also started her own business, Lashed By Ry, according to her Instagram.
“As the GCU family grieves the loss of one its students, we ask that you keep her family and friends in your hearts during this difficult time and know that God is always there for us,” Grand Canyon University said in a statement.
In a GoFundMe for Barajas’ family they said, he was “the light of so many peoples lives and there are tough times ahead, but we have amazing family and friends to get through this. Please donate for medical funds, etc. Thank you all and anything will help!”
Barajas graduated from Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California, where he was a soccer star, according to the Orange County Register. Turner Mills, who was the co-captain of the soccer team with Barajas, told the newspaper, “Everybody loved him. He was a great leader and role model to everyone in the community. Everyone knew him. He was always friendly.”