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Suspect arrested in movie theater shooting that wounded TikTok star, killed teen

By Stella Chan and Amanda Jackson, CNN

A man is in custody in connection with the shooting at a California movie theater Monday night that left a woman dead and a well-known TikTok user in critical condition, police said Wednesday.

Rylee Goodrich, 18, and Anthony Barajas, 19, were at a showing of “The Forever Purge” at a movie theater in Corona, California, on Monday, police said. The teens are friends and went to watch the movie together, according to police. Theater staff found them with gunshot wounds after the movie, according to police.

Goodrich died at the scene, and Barajas is on life support at a local hospital, police said.

On Tuesday, police arrested Joseph Jimenez, 20, at his home in El Cerrito, an unincorporated area of Corona. Police searched the suspect’s home and found a firearm and additional evidence related to the movie theater crime scene, they said.

“The firearm matched the caliber of the weapon used in the murder,” said police in a press release.

Jimenez is being held on $2 million bail and charged with murder, attempted murder and robbery. CNN has reached out to the Riverside County public defender’s office to determine if Jimenez has retained legal representation.

“The Forever Purge,” which debuted in theaters earlier this month, is the fifth movie in the “Purge” franchise. Each sequel is based on the premise that a totalitarian government has created one night each year where everything, including murder, is legal.

There were fewer than 10 people in the theater where Goodrich and Barajas were shot, Corona Police Capt. Paul Mercado told CNN, yet it has not been determined if the shooting happened during or after the movie.

“They were shot in the head,” Corona Police Corporal Tobias Kouroubacalis told CNN in an email. “We will not know how many times or the exact entry point of the bullet(s) until the coroner performs their autopsies and writes their reports.”

CNN has contacted the theater for comment but has not heard back.

An unprovoked attack

Police believe that that Jimenez, who had a movie ticket, didn’t know the victims and didn’t have any prior contact with them.

“It’s an unfortunate turn of events here,” said Mercado. “The public here are really looking for a motive. Right now, there is no motive. It’s an unprovoked attack.”

Police said that items were taken and “robbery is part of what happened during that crime,” but that they are not calling it a motive in the shooting, Kouroubacalis said during a press conference held on Wednesday.

“We can’t imagine the significant amount of pain both the family and friends are feeling right now,” said Kouroubacalis. “But we hope the suspect’s arrest will bring some relief knowing that he’s in jail now.”

He added that police believe Jimenez acted alone.

A TikTok enthusiast, a runner with a ‘great heart’

Barajas has nearly 930,000 followers on TikTok and recently posted video updates from a family vacation. During high school, he was a standout soccer player at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, according to CNN affiliate KABC.

Goodrich attended Corona High School, according to KABC, and played volleyball, ran track and was also a cheerleader. After high school, she received a college scholarship for Grand Canyon University’s STEM program. She was in town visiting family for the summer.

Her cousin, Ashley Cole, told KABC she had a “great heart” and always willing to helping others.

Jimenez is expected to appear before a judge for arraignment in the next couple days, according to Kouroubacalis.

™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Brian Lowry and Jessica Flynn contributed to this report.

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