Some of Anthony Barajas’s nearly 1 million TikTok followers joined his family and friends in expressing their shock and grief when he died Saturday after being shot five days earlier in a Corona movie theater with his friend, Rylee Goodrich.
As the Los Angeles Times reports, Barajas, 19, had more than 960,000 fans of his lip-sync videos and skits on the social media platform when he and Goodrich, 18, were shot execution style during their first date at the Regal Edwards Corona Crossings theater on July 26.
Employees found Barajas and Goodrich while cleaning the theater Monday night after a showing of The Forever Purge and called the police. Goodrich was pronounced dead at the scene and Barajas was rushed to a hospital, where he was taken off life support and died on Saturday.
With the news of his death, hopeful comments like “you got this” and “keep fighting” turned into an outpouring of grief with thoughts like, “I can’t believe he’s gone…”
“Rest up buddy. You’re in a better place now,” one fan wrote.
@itsanthonymichaelLast part is the most important part:) ##fypシ ##viral ##relatable ##relationship ##couple♬ Butterflies Pt. 2 – Queen Naija
Hundreds of people also gathered for a candlelight vigil outside the theater Saturday night.
At the vigil, Goodrich’s friend, Skylar Schueller, said, “I know the biggest thing she would want is just to have everybody together. I think she’s looking down on us now and I think she’s smiling.”
Corona police arrested Joseph Jimenez, 20, of Corona the day after the shootings on suspicion of murder and robbery, with investigators saying they found him with a firearm of the same caliber as the one used to murder the young couple.
The Riverside County District Attorney’s office charged Jimenez on Friday with one count of murder with a sentencing enhancement of personal use of a firearm causing death, one count of attempted murder with a sentencing enhancement of personally inflicting great bodily injury, and a sentencing enhancement of personal use of a firearm causing great bodily injury. The DA also filed a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait.
Authorities say they have found no motive in the attack and no connection between Jimenez and the victims. If convicted, the sentencing enhancements make him eligible for the death penalty.
Milton Jackson, Barajas’s former singing teacher at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, where Barajas graduated in 2019, wrote on the family’s GoFundMe page, “He knew what he wanted out of life and was determined to go get it. He did just that.”
On Barajas’s final TikTok video, a fan urged, “Please don’t delete his account. I want to continue watching these videos where he sings and where he is happy.”
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