20-year-old arrested in deadly shooting at Corona movie theater

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A 20-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder in a double shooting that killed an 18-year-old woman and badly injured a 19-year-old man in a movie theater in Corona late Monday, the Corona Police Department announced Wednesday.

Joseph Jimenez was arrested on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and robbery and was being held in lieu of $2-million bail at Presley Detention Center in Riverside, police said.

Police said that witness statements led detectives to identify Jimenez as the suspected gunman and that investigators served a search warrant at his home in the 19000 block of Envoy Avenue in El Cerrito, just south of Corona, about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

There, investigators found a firearm that matched the caliber of weapon used in the shooting as well as "additional evidence related to the crime scene," police said.

Investigators have not identified a motive in the shooting, which appears to be "an unprovoked attack," authorities said.

Jimenez could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Police identified the victims in the shooting as Rylee Goodrich, 18, of Corona, who was pronounced dead at the scene, and Anthony Barajas, 19, also of Corona, who was transported to a hospital on life support.

Barajas' condition had not changed as of Wednesday, police said.

Cpl. Tobias Kouroubacalis, a Corona police spokesman, said on Tuesday that employees of the Regal Edwards Corona Crossings theater called police after discovering Goodrich and Barajas about 11:45 p.m. Monday.

Police were initially unsure whether anyone other than the victims had been in the theater at the time of the shooting. However, the absence of a firearm in the theater — where Goodrich and Barajas had gone together to see the film "The Forever Purge," about a night of lawlessness and killing — suggested there had been.

Kouroubacalis said on Tuesday that police had no evidence to suggest the theme of the film had anything to do with the shooting, but that investigators would be considering that possibility.

“The Forever Purge” is the latest film in the “Purge” franchise of horror movies, all of which are based on the premise that a dystopian government lifts all laws against violence for one night a year, leading to violence on a massive scale.

Richard Grover, a spokesman for Regal, has said the company was working with authorities as they pursue their investigation.

Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting, or who was in the theater that night and may have seen something, to contact Det. Slaven Neagu at (951) 739-4916. Anonymous tips may be submitted at (951) 817-5839.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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