Corona movie theater shooting: Accused killer appears in court

The suspected killer in the July 2021 movie theater shooting in Corona appeared in court Friday for a pretrial hearing. 

21-year-old Joseph Jimenez is facing two counts of murder plus special circumstances, allegations of lying in wait, which makes him eligible for the death penalty if convicted. 

In a previous arraignment, he entered pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity, officials said.

The victims, 18-year-old Rylee Goodrich and 19-year-old Anthony Barajas, and the suspect, Joseph Jimenez, were three of the six people who were inside the cinema during a showing of "The Forever Purge," during the attack, according to the Corona Police Department. The horror film centers around lawless murders, however, authorities do not believe the violence in the film was related to the shootings. 

Jimenez is due back in court in January. 


On July 26, 2021, around 11:45 p.m., Corona PD received a 911 call for service from the Regal Edwards Theater at the Crossings Shopping Center. A theater employee found Rylee Goodrich and Anthony Barajas inside the cinema near their seats with gunshot wounds to their heads.

Cpl. Kouroubacalis with Corona PD said detectives are unable to use surveillance footage for the investigation because no cameras were recording inside the theater at the time of the shooting.

Officials said Rylee Goodrich was pronounced dead at the scene while Anthony Barajas was rushed to a local trauma center where he died days later.



Police records showed that friends of Joseph Jimenez told detectives they believed he had brought a gun into the cinema. They said that he was acting so strangely that they snuck out of the theater, apparently without warning anyone.

Two of the friends told investigators they later saw defendant Jimenez run out of the Regal Edwards cinema and speed away in his car, according to a police detective’s sworn declaration filed in court.

Corona PD detectives issued a search warrant at a home in the El Cerrito neighborhood located near the 15 Freeway and East Ontario Avenue on the night of July 27, 2021. Investigators were led to the suspect’s home after interviewing witnesses and an anonymous tip.

While at the home, authorities discovered a handgun and other evidence connected to the shooting. Cpl. Kouroubacalis said during a press conference last summer that the shell casings found at the theater matched the caliber of the weapon. 

Jimenez, 20, was subsequently arrested and taken into custody. 

He was booked into the Riverside Presley Detention Center on charges of murder, robbery with a gun and attempted murder on a $2,000,000 bail. He now faces two murder charges after Barajas, who initially survived the shooting, passed away at a local trauma center.


Rylee Goodrich was going into her sophomore year at Grand Canyon University on a full scholarship to study marketing. 

She was a graduate of Corona High School "but she wanted to go into criminal justice and had been working with me this summer in my Private Investigator job," her grieving dad Dave Goodrich said following her untimely death.

FOX 11 (FOX 11)

In an interview with FOX 11, her father questioned why there were no metal detectors at the theater. He said the two were on their first date and that Barajas was "a boy her dad actually approved of."

RELATED: Dad who lost daughter in movie theater shooting wonders why there were no metal detectors

Anthony Barajas. (FOX 11)

Anthony Barajas, known as @itsanthonymichael on social media, has a large following, including nearly 930,000 followers on TikTok.

While the suspect and the victims are close in age, Corona PD investigators do not believe the victims and the suspect knew one another prior to the shooting. Officials also do not believe Barajas' social media fame played a role in the attack. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Corona PD. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call 951-817-5837.

The investigation is ongoing. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.