A 19-year-old TikTok star and his friend were shot dead in a California movie theater on Monday in a strange and bloody episode for which police still have little explanation.
The incident occurred during a screening of The purge forever, the most recent episode of the macabre horror film franchise, set at a Regal Cinemas in Corona, a suburb southeast of Los Angeles.
Anthony Barajas, who has over 900,000 subscribers on TikTok, is now in critical condition, and her friend, Rylee Goodrich, 18, died of her injuries at the scene.
The carnage, which police call an “unprovoked attack,” oddly went unnoticed by cinema staff, who said they “hadn’t heard any gunshots” and only ran into the couple when they entered to clean up the cinema after the movie was over.
Corona Police said on Wednesday that they had stopped Joseph Jimenez, 20, and believed he was responsible for the attack. Search warrant executed in JimenEz’s residence delivered a firearm matching the caliber of the weapon used in the murder, as well as “additional evidence related to the crime scene,” police said. JiméNez was later charged with murder, attempted murder and robbery, and was sentenced to $ 2 million bail at a local detention center.
However, authorities are still not sure exactly why the shooting took place.
“Based on the statements obtained, there is no known motive and it appears to be an unprovoked attack,” police said.
TO press conference on Wednesday morning, Corona Police Cpl. Tobias Kouroubacalis has confirmed that Jimenez had “acted alone” in the attack, but added: “There is no information that the suspect and the victims had any previous contact before these crimes took place. He also said he didn’t know about Jimenose with a history of violent crime or a criminal record at all.
Adding to the confusion, Kouroubacalis said that the flight component of the episode appears to have been something that just ‘happened’ and was not the primary motivation: ‘There is no reason for this. crime at this point, ”he said. “Theft is part of what happened during this crime.”
A local journalist summed up the confusion well:
JOURNALIST: Looks like these two victims went to the movies that night, going about their own business, and this suspect arrived, for some reason, and shot them in a completely random fashion.
KOUROUBACALIS: This is the information we have at the moment – it was completely unprovoked and the victims were shot without any kind of prior contact.
So, suffice to say, details are scarce. It’s not entirely clear either How? ‘Or’ What the shooting would have taken place without other moviegoers noticing, since at least four other people are said have been present during the screening.
“During the actual time of the film, no one apparently heard the gunshot”, Employee Kailyn Dillon told CBS. “I know we do bag security checks every day and unfortunately I don’t know if that was missed or if it was in a holster on their belt.”
Police said JimeNose was “in possession” of a ticket, but it is not known how he obtained it and the police could not tell if he had bought it. Security cameras inside the cinema were also apparently not working at the time of the attack, Kouroubacalis said.