Friends of Man Accused of Killing 2 at Movie Theater Sneaked Out Over Fear He Had Gun

Three friends of a man charged with fatally shooting two people inside a Southern California movie theater last week said they sneaked out of the theater over fear he had a gun.

Police records obtained by the Orange County Register reported in a story Monday showed friends of defendant Joseph Jimenez were alarmed by his behavior, and left apparently without warning anyone.

"Halfway through the movie, Joseph left and returned with a bag which he told them he had a 'strap' in the bag. Witnesses believed this to be a handgun. Witnesses said Joseph was mumbling and talking to himself which made them uncomfortable. Witnesses said they needed to use the restroom, however, they left the theater leaving Joseph behind," the police report reads.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Handgun file photo
Three friends of a man charged with shooting two people in a California movie theater last week said they left the theater because they were worried the man had a gun with him. Getty Images

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

A short time later on the night of July 26, a theater employee found Rylee Goodrich, 18, and Anthony Barajas, 19, with gunshot wounds to their heads. Goodrich died at the scene. Barajas, a budding social media star, died at a hospital on Saturday.

Barajas, known online as itsanthonymichael, had nearly 1 million followers on TikTok and more on other platforms.

The detective's declaration, written to obtain a search warrant for Jimenez's home and other property, for the first time describes how police connected Jimenez with the fatal shootings, the newspaper reported.

Jimenez has been jailed since his arrest. A phone message left Tuesday seeking comment on the case from Charles Kenyon, a lawyer for Jimenez, was not immediately returned

Jimenez has been charged with murder and attempted murder, but the second count is expected to be upgraded to murder by the time Jimenez appears in court Thursday for his arraignment, said John Hall, a spokesman for the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.

The suspect acted alone, and there's no indication he knew the victims or that Barajas' role as a TikTok influencer played a role in the crime, Corona police Cpl. Tobias Kouroubacalis told reporters last week.

The Register reported that it was unclear whether the inaction by the three friends amounts to a crime. Their names were not listed in county jail records on Tuesday.

Joseph Jimenez
This booking photo shows 20-year-old Joseph Jimenez, who was arrested on July 27 in connection with a shooting that killed an 18-year-old woman and a 19-year-old man at a Southern California movie theater. He is being held on $2 million bail. Corona Police Department via AP