Friends of California movie theater shooting suspect believed he had gun, snuck out of cinema, detective says
The suspect, charged with opening fire on two people on a date in a California movie theater, was accompanied by three friends who, according to local reports, snuck out of the movie theater fearing he'd brought a gun.
Joseph Jimenez's friends told authorities he was acting strange and they left the Regal Edwards movie theater in Corona, 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles, because of his behavior on July 26, according to police files on the Orange County Register.
You apparently did not warn anyone of the potential threat.
Two of the friends told investigators they later saw Jimenez leave the theater and drive away in his car. That evening, Rylee Goodrich, 18, and Anthony Barajas, 19, were fatally shot in the head when cinema workers entered the theater after 9:35 p.m. to clean up. Demonstration of "The Forever Purge".
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Goodrich was pronounced dead at the scene and Barajas - a TikTok star - died on Saturday after several days of life support.
The three moviegoers said they believe Jimenez was the killer, according to a police affidavit filed in court. It was unclear whether their failure to warn of him the night of the attack constituted a crime.
Detectives said six tickets were purchased to see the film - the fifth in the The Purge film franchise, which focuses each year on a 12-hour period during which all crimes are legal.
The Riverside County Attorney's Office declined to comment on the three friends' actions to Fox News.
"This is an active case and only the defendant, Joseph Jimenez, has been charged in this case," said spokesman John Hall.
A buyer bought four tickets from the theater's website. The buyer was interviewed along with the other two moviegoers, all of whom remembered Jimenez was with them.
"Halfway through the movie, Joseph left and came back with a bag that he told them had a 'strap' in his pocket. Witnesses believed it was a handgun, ”the newspaper said. “Witnesses said Joseph muttered and spoke to himself, which made them uncomfortable. Witnesses said they had to use the restroom but left the theater, leaving Joseph behind.
"At around 11:28 pm, two of the witnesses saw Joseph run out of the theater and run to his vehicle. Then he sped away in his vehicle at high speed," the statement said. "The next day, witnesses learned of the news releases of the murder. Witnesses believed Joseph had committed the murder."
Jimenez was arrested hours after the shooting. He was charged with the death of Barajas on Tuesday on a second charge of murder. He is expected to appear in court on Thursday.
The investigators assume that he acted alone and did not know the victims.
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