A California man has been arrested in connection to a shooting rampage at a screening of The Forever Purge that killed an 18-year-old woman and gravely wounded a teenage TikTok star outside of Los Angeles.
Joseph Jimenez, 20, was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the attack, which police say appeared to be unprovoked.
Corona Police Department Corporal Tobias Kouroubacalis said: “We have determined that he acted alone in this murder … We do not have a motive for this heinous, unprovoked crime. And there’s no information the suspect and victims had any prior contact before these crimes took place.”
Officers discovered a firearm and additional evidence related to the crime scene during a search of his apartment, reports The Daily Mail.
The victims were Rylee Goodrich, 18, who died at the scene from a gunshot to the back of the head, and her friend Anthony Barajas, 19, who is currently on life support in hospital.
The pair had gone to see the horror movie The Forever Purge together in a California movie theatre that was almost empty during the screening.
It is unclear if the others who were in the theatre at the time realized what had happened. The film contains frequent scenes with shoot-outs and violence that could have masked the sound of the attack. It’s also possible the other moviegoers were involved in the shooting, say police, who are following up with those who bought tickets to the screening.
The teenagers’ bodies were only discovered after the film had ended, by cleaning staff who were walking through the theatre.
Ms Goodrich was attending Grand Canyon University on a STEM scholarship. Friends said they were stunned and couldn’t understand how she had become the victim of a shocking gun crime, reports the Daily Mail.
A GoFundMe page set up to help her family pay for funeral expenses, said: “Words seem inadequate to express the sorrow felt by the loss of Rylee. Her kindness, and gentle spirit will be remembered forever. “
Mr Barajas, who remains in intensive care, is a TikTok influencer, who goes by @itsanthonymichael to almost a million followers. His most recent posts showed him spending a family holiday in Hawaii. A GoFundMe page, which received numerous messages of love and support, has also been created for Mr Barajas’ family for medical expenses,
Ms Goodrich’s cousin, Ashley Cole told CBS that the family is having a hard time understanding how the shooting could have been a random attack.
“When there’s only six people in a movie theatre, to me, that’s not what I imagine someone that’s not going with intentions to kill someone to do,” she said.
Mr Kouroubacalis told KTLA: “’We don’t know what exactly happened in there. We’re still taking a step-by-step process, going through every seat, going through every part of that movie theatre to find any kind of evidence we have, and also asking for the public’s help at the same time.”