Murder victims’ households come collectively to grieve their losses at a vigil in Riverside

Murder victims’ households come collectively to grieve their losses at a vigil in Riverside

A lady whose son was fatally shot alongside along with his date in a Corona movie show in 2021 on Wednesday night recalled throughout a remembrance ceremony her household’s grief and urged different relations of crime victims to honor their recollections.

Catherine Barajas spoke in the course of the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office’s annual National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Candlelight Vigil in entrance of the Riverside County Historic Courthouse.

“The grieving that we do, that households do once they lose a cherished one, is so typically an intensely non-public and private second. When we take into consideration our family members who’re now not with us, the grief can appear overwhelming,” District Attorney Mike Hestrin mentioned. “Those non-public moments oftentimes can depart a sufferer’s household and family members feeling remoted, giving the impression that they’re alone of their grief and that no person understands what they’re going by means of, such overwhelming loss, however at present we come collectively to grieve publicly.”

Barajas was Wednesday’s featured speaker and was joined by household together with her two daughters and her husband, Brian Barajas.

On July 26, 2021, Corona High graduate Rylee Goodrich, 18, and Mater Dei High graduate Anthony Barajas, 19, had been watching the ultimate moments of the final exhibiting that evening of “The Forever Purge” on the Regal Edwards Cinema on the Crossings at Corona once they had been attacked.


Joseph Jimenez Jr., now 23, a Santiago High graduate who had been recognized with schizophrenia, had run out of his medication and did not get it refilled. He had been listening to voices that had been threatening to hurt him, so he bought a gun on OfferUp. That evening, he heard voices from “Abigail” and an unidentified, equally non-existent companion saying he was in peril from the Corona teenagers as they sat a number of rows in entrance of Jimenez and three of his mates.

The six individuals had been the one clients within the theater.

Jimenez went to his automotive and retrieved the gun. The three mates, unnerved by Jimenez, left the theater and didn’t warn anybody.

Jimenez snuck up behind the teenagers and shot Barajas first, then Goodrich. She died that day and Barajas died on July 31, 2021, after donating organs.

Jimenez initially pleaded not responsible by motive of madness. He later withdrew his plea and was discovered sane throughout a trial by a judge. He was sentenced to life in jail with out parole on Feb. 26, 2024.

“….each single morning I get up, I can’t catch my breath as a result of Anthony’s gone,” Barajas mentioned Wednesday.

Barajas recounted how joyful she was when Anthony was born and the way joyful it was to see her son develop up. Anthony cherished music and performing, she mentioned, remembering his efficiency as Flounder in The Little Mermaid play.

“Every evening I attempt, I struggle and attempt to keep in mind his smile slightly than him mendacity on the ground bleeding from a gunshot wound to his head that was inflicted by somebody who made a selection,”  Barajas mentioned.

Anthony managed to save lots of the lives of two younger males because of his organ donation, she mentioned.

“I consider him crying for me, ready for me to rescue him. I consider him being on their own in an ambulance, dying with out his mom,” she mentioned.

Barajas mentioned the household was in Hawaii having enjoyable a day earlier than he was shot and killed.

“It was my job to carry them in the event that they had been scared or harm. It was my job to make sure that they had been secure,” Barajas mentioned.

“The offender took all of that away from me. He took that away from Anthony. He made all my guarantees to all my kids turn out to be a lie.”

Barajas mentioned the household nonetheless attends remedy two to 3 instances every week to assist course of their loss.

“Let’s dwell the remainder of our days remembering our family members,” Barajas mentioned in closing. “Let’s converse their names and inform their tales.”

The occasion continued after her speech, with legislation enforcement and metropolis personnel arising and saying the names of the homicide victims who’re being remembered.

As the names had been learn, the household and mates of every sufferer would increase their candles.

The vigil ended with two songs: “See you once more,” by Wiz Khalifa and “Lean on me,” by Bill Withers.

The relations and mates then walked over to the Victims’ Memorial Courtyard, the place a wall has the names of homicide victims engraved into granite.

The wall has over 2,000 names, and extra are added to the wall every year.

Some of the names added this 12 months had been:

  • George Sifontes, 31, of Rialto, who died Oct. 17, 2023, after being struck behind the pinnacle by a person and hitting the bottom onerous in Riverside.
  • Michael Rangel, 68, of Riverside, who was shot and killed on Oct. 28, 2023 whereas watering his garden in Riverside.
  • Andrew Cisneros, 35, was killed in a capturing on Feb. 25, 2023.
  • Gilberto Sotelo, 38, who died on Aug. 7, 2023, after being struck in a hit-and-run crash in Riverside



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