Messages written in chalk on the pavement outside a movie theater at The Crossings mall in Corona express the pain and sorrow felt by friends of an 18-year-old woman and a 19-year-old man who were shot at the theater during a showing of a horror movie.
Rylee Goodrich was killed, and Anthony Barajas remained on life support Wednesday. Barajas, known online as itsanthonymichael, has nearly a million followers on TikTok and more on other platforms.
During a news conference Wednesday to announce an arrest in the case, investigators said they are attempting to determine a motive. Authorities said the shooting Monday appeared to be “an unprovoked attack."
In the days following the shooting, mourners have left heartfelt messages in chalk on the walkway outside the cinema where Goorich and Barajas were watching a showing of the Universal Pictures release “The Forever Purge.”
“Thanks for all the good laughs,” one read.
“You are forever in my heart,” read another.
A life-size cutout of Goodrich in a graduation gown and cap stood outside the theater entrance. Flowers and other items were left by grief-stricken friends.
“She was on her firs date with sweet, new guy,” Goodrich’s father Dave Goodrich said. “She got all dressed up, he just got back from Hawaii.
“They went to see the ‘Purge.’ Go figure, the movie is about senseless killing.”
Goodrich said the pair met earlier in July. He said Barajas brought each family member a souvenir from that trip to Hawaii and made a great first impression.
“You know, just two cute teenagers for their first kind of real date, and then it ended that way,” Goodrich said.
Anthony played soccer at Mater Dei High School, his soccer coach Sean Ganey, is grateful for the legacy he left behind.
“There aren’t adequate words to explain how special Anthony is and what an impact he had on so many people’s lives. Anthony is an exceptional man of character and a true example of what it means to be a servant leader. MD Soccer is grateful for the legacy Anthony left with the program. We continue to pray for Anthony and the entire Barajas family during this difficult time.”
The teens were found by theater workers cleaning up after the 9:35 p.m. showing of the violent horror movie at The Crossings mall in Corona.
The suspect acted alone, and there’s no indication he knew the victims or that Barajas' role as a TikTok influencer played a role in the crime, Corona police Cpl. Tobias Kouroubacalis told reporters Wednesday.
“It was completely unprovoked, and the victims were shot without any kind of prior contact,” he said.
The 20-year-old suspect was booked in jail Tuesday night on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and robbery. He is being held on $2 million bail.
A firearm that matched the caliber of the weapon used in the shooting was found at his home. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Witness accounts and an anonymous tip led detectives to Jimenez, Kouroubacalis said.
There was a small audience for that showing of the movie, with only six tickets purchased, Kouroubacalis said. Investigators are asking for anyone in that theater or adjacent theaters with possible information to come forward.
Editor's Note: Universal Pictures is owned by Comcast/NBC Universal, which is also the parent company of NBC4.