A California man says that voices inside his head caused him to shoot and kill two teens at a Corona movie theater last month.
Joseph Jimenez, 20, gave a jailhouse interview Wednesday at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, ahead of his Thursday morning court hearing, The Press-Enterprise reports.
Jiminez is behind bars facing murder charges in connection with the deaths of Grand Canyon University student, Rylee Goodrich, 18, and 19-year-old TikTok star, Anthony Barajas.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the victims were shot at around 11:45 p.m. on July 26, at the Regal Edwards Corona Crossings theater in Corona. The pair were watching “The Forever Purge” when Jimenez allegedly opened fire, shooting them both in the head.
Jimenez reportedly said he did not know the victims but had been driven to kill by voices telling him to do so. Jimenez said he was diagnosed with schizophrenia around eight months ago and up until recently, had been taking his medication. He claimed the prescription ran out and he didn’t get a refill.
According to Jimenez, voices in his head had been bothering him for a while, leading up to the deadly shooting. He claimed the voices would tell him he needed to kill or his family would be killed and his belongings would be stolen.
“The voices said my friends and family were going to be killed,” Jimenez said, explaining that he chose the only two other people in the theater, aside from three friends that accompanied him to watch the movie on the night in question.
The suspect’s friends told investigators that they ended up leaving the movie early after Jimenez began acting strange and talking to himself. The friends felt uncomfortable around Jimenez but said they didn’t know of his gruesome plans.
Jimenez reportedly said that he was sitting at the back of the theater, behind the victims, who were seated by each other in the middle row. He allegedly walked up behind the pair and shot Barajas first. He said Goodrich “sort of jumped” before he shot her as well and fled from the theater with his heart pounding.
After interviewing the friends that accompanied Jimenez to the movie, police carried out a search warrant at the suspect’s home, off of Envoy in El Cerrito. The residence is located about two miles north of the Regal Edwards cinema.
“During the search of the residence, a firearm and additional evidence related to the crime scene were discovered. The firearm matched the caliber of the weapon used in the murder,” police said.
Jimenez said he attended Santiago High School in Corona and never got into any trouble. He described himself as “mellow” and said he liked to play video games. He now regrets his decision and wishes he could take it back.
“My condolences,” Jimenez said. “I wish I didn’t do it.”
Jimenez added that the movie he saw on the night in question had nothing to do with the murders. “The Forever Purge” is the latest installment in a series of movies that centers around the government allowing people to commit crimes.
Jimenez remains behind bars without bail. He’s scheduled for an arraignment on Thursday at the Superior Court in Riverside. He’s been charged on two counts of murder with two special circumstances (lying in wait to kill and multiple murders), which makes him eligible for the death sentence should prosecutors pursue it and secure a conviction.
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[Featured Photo: Rylee Goodrich and Anthony Barajas/Facebook]