A young man who had been on life support after being shot inside a Southern California movie theatre has died, police and his family said today.
Anthony Barajas, 19, was watching The Forever Purge at a theatre in Corona with Rylee Goodrich, 18, on Monday when they were shot in the head. They were found by an employee after the last showing of the night.
Goodrich died at the scene. Barajas was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was placed on life support.
Police said the shooting appeared to be random and unprovoked. They were working with Riverside County prosecutors to add a second murder count against the suspected shooter, Joseph Jimenez.
Jimenez, 20, appeared in Riverside County Superior Court after being charged with murder in the death of Goodrich and attempted murder of Barajas. But he didn't enter a plea, and his arraignment was postponed to next week.
Prosecutors also had charged Jimenez with a special circumstance of lying in wait that makes him eligible for the death penalty if convicted as charged.
Jimenez has been jailed since his arrest. It's not clear whether he has retained an attorney who can speak for him.
Barajas was a high school honours student and had hundreds of thousands of followers on his TikTok social media account, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported.
"From his quick smile to his compassionate heart, Anthony's presence was a gift to all who knew him," his family said in a statement.
The New York Post reports the shooting happened during a 9.30pm screening of The Forever Purge, a horror movie about a dystopian America where murder is legal once a year for 12 hours, according to the Corona Police Department.
Only six tickets were sold to the movie.
It is unclear if the other four people who attended the screening realised what had happened, or if those moviegoers were involved in the shooting.
Staff at the Regal Edwards Corona Crossings movie theatre discovered both victims while cleaning up after the movie ended.
"During the actual movie time, no one apparently heard the gunshot," employee Kailyn Dillon told KCAL. "I know that we do have security bag checks that we do on the daily and, unfortunately, I'm not sure if it just was missed or if it was in a holster on their belt."
Goodrich was pronounced dead on the scene from a gunshot to the back of the head, with Barajas rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Barajas, a TikTok personality with more than 1 million followers, last posted about a family vacation five days ago.
Before the arrest of Jimenez investigators were earlier speculating whether a random shooter escaped from the theatre, or if the crime was a murder-suicide.
"They're still going through the theatre and looking for evidence that would send us in one direction or another," Corona police Cpl Tobias Kouroubacalis told the paper at the time. "We're working in the blind."
Goodrich's cousin, Ashley Cole, told CBS earlier that the family was having trouble believing the shooting was 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," he said.
Police did not recover a firearm at the scene.
"Detectives are conducting follow-up on all investigative leads with hopes of identifying the person(s) responsible for this heinous crime," police said earlier.
The Forever Purge tells the story of Mexican migrants targeted by vigilantes during an annual US government "purge", during which all crime is legal for 12 hours.
The shooting came just one week after the ninth anniversary of the 2012 shooting at the Century 16 movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises.
During that shooting, James Holmes set off tear gas grenades and shot into the crowd of hundreds – killing 12 people and injuring 70 others.