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Forever Purge Shooting Suspect Blames Voices

Joseph Jimenez says he was diagnosed with schizophrenia 8 months ago
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2021 2:35 AM CDT
Forever Purge Shooting Suspect Blames Voices
Joseph Jimenez, 20, left, appears in the Riverside Hall of Justice, Friday, July 30, 2021, in Riverside, Calif.   (Will Lester/The Orange County Register via AP, File)

(Newser) – The suspect accused of fatally shooting two people watching the Forever Purge at a Southern California movie theater offered wrenching details on the crime in an interview with the Riverside Press-Enterprise. "I wish I didn't do it," said Joseph Jimenez, who referred to the victims, teens Rylee Goodrich and Anthony Barajas, by their first names. Jimenez said he's been hearing voices in his head for eight months claiming his friends and family would be killed, and that he thought the only way to stop that from happening was to carry out the shooting, though he didn't go into detail on what he believed would happen. He says he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and prescribed medication, but he stopped taking it after it ran out and he didn't get it refilled.

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He had purchased a gun on the buy/sell app OfferUp, and he says that as the voices in his head kept him from paying attention to the movie, he went to his car to get it. The friends he was with at the theater told police they left in alarm after he returned with the gun, talking to himself. Jimenez says he then approached Goodrich and Barajas—the only other people in the theater after his friends fled—from behind, shooting Barajas first, then Goodrich after she "sort of jumped." CBS LA reports that no employees heard the gunshots; Goodrich and Barajas were found unresponsive by workers who came in to clean the theater after the movie ended. Jimenez will be arraigned Thursday on two counts of murder with two special-circumstance allegations (lying in wait and multiple murders), meaning he could face a death sentence if convicted. (Read more California stories.)

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