TikTok star Anthony Barajas dies after shooting in California theater

CORONA, Calif. — Anthony Barajas, a TikTok star who was shot along with his date at a California movie theater on Monday, died Saturday, authorities said. He was 19.

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The Corona Police Department announced Barajas’ death in a news release.

“The Corona Police Department has been notified that Anthony Barajas passed away early this morning,” the release stated. “We extend our thoughts and condolences to his family and friends.”

Barajas, known on TikTok as @itsanthonymichael, has nearly 1 million followers, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He also had more than 50,000 on Instagram, NBC News reported.

Barajas had been on life support after he and his friend, Rylee Goodrich, 18, were shot in the head during a showing of “The Forever Purge” inside the Regal Edwards Corona Crossings Theater, KTLA reported.

The Forever Purge” is a 1-hour, 44-minute feature, the fifth installment in “The Purge” franchise, which is based on the premise of an annual ritual when murder and mayhem become temporarily legal, Variety reported.

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Joseph Jimenez, 20, was arrested Tuesday in connection with the shooting, The Press-Enterprise of Riverside reported. He originally was charged with murder in Goodrich’s death, but prosecutors on Friday filed a special circumstance murder charge, NBC News reported.

“No motive for the shootings is being released at this time and there was no known connection between the victims and Jimenez,” the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release Friday. “Based on the evidence provided to our office, this appears to be a random and unprovoked attack.”

Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin told NBC News that the special circumstance charge -- lying in wait -- makes Jimenez eligible for the death penalty if prosecutors choose to seek that punishment at trial.

Police are working with the district attorney’s office to add a second murder count against Jimenez, the Press-Enterprise reported.

Jimenez had been scheduled to enter pleas on Friday, but that arraignment was postponed to Aug. 5, the newspaper reported.

Authorities received a 911 call from employees at around 11:45 p.m. PDT on Monday, KTTV reported.

Barajas and Goodrich were at the theater, and workers cleaning up after the movie ended discovered two people had been shot in the head, Hestrin said in a statement.

Six tickets were sold for the screening of the film, Tobias Kouroubacalis, a spokesperson for the Corona Police Department, told reporters on Tuesday.

Barajas was a 2019 graduate and honor student at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, according to the Press-Enterprise. Goodrich was a 2020 graduate of Corona High and was planning to attend Grand Canyon University in Arizona, the newspaper reported.

A GoFundMe page to help Barajas’ family had raised more than $76,000 as of Saturday evening. A GoFundMe page to help Goodrich’s family took in more than $65,000.





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