Influencer Dies After Being Shot During Cinema Attack
TikToker and influencer Anthony Barajas has died after being shot in a southern California cinema last week.
Barajas and his friend Rylee Goodrich were at a viewing of The Forever Purge at a cinema in Corona on July 26 when a gunman opened fire and shot them both in the head.
Goodrich, who was just 18-years-old, was pronounced dead at the scene after workers found the two victims while cleaning up after the screening. Barajas, 19, was taken to the hospital and placed on life support, but on Saturday, July 31 Corona police announced the influencer had passed away in the early hours of the morning.
In a statement released by the department, they said: ‘We extend our thoughts and condolences to his family and friends.’
Officers have arrested 20-year-old Joseph Jimenez in connection with the shooting which was described as ‘completely unprovoked’. The suspect appeared in Riverside County Superior Court on Friday, the day before Barajas’ death, at which time he was charged with the murder of Goodrich and attempted murder of Barajas.
Prosecutors also filed a special circumstance murder charge which makes Jimenez eligible for the death penalty should prosecutors choose to seek that punishment at trial, according to Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin, per NBC News.
Jimenez did not enter a plea at the time and the trial was postponed until Thursday at the request of the defence. Following the news of the influencer’s death, the Corona Police Department announced it is working with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office to add an additional murder charge.
Barajas, who went by the handle ‘itsanthonymichael’ online, had racked up nearly one million followers on TikTok after he first started sharing content in 2019.
Followers flooded his social media accounts following the news of the attack, with many now sharing their grief over his loss.
One comment reads: ‘i don’t know where to start dude. You were so talented, so driven when you did anything, and just an amazing person to be around. i know you’ll be watching over all of us from up there. Rest in paradise ant.’
In a statement cited by BBC News, his family described him as having a ‘quick smile’ and ‘compassionate heart’, adding: ‘Anthony’s presence was a gift to all who knew him.’
A judge ordered that Jiminez be held without bail ahead of his arraignment on Thursday.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
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