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Two people shot, one fatally, in Corona theater showing ‘Purge’ film

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An 18-year-old woman was killed, and a 19-year-old man was injured in a double shooting at a movie theater in Corona late Monday night, according to the Corona Police Department.

The shooting occurred in a theater showing the film “The Forever Purge,” which features a night of lawlessness and killing, police confirmed.

How the shooting occurred remained unclear Tuesday, police said.

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Officers responded to a call for help from employees at the Regal Edwards Corona Crossings theater in the 2600 block of Tuscany Street about 11:45 p.m., police said.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene, and the man was transported to a hospital. Neither was immediately identified.

Cpl. Tobias Kouroubacalis, a Corona Police spokesman, said police were trying to determine Tuesday whether there was a shooter who escaped or if the gunfire played out only between the man and woman. Authorities also were seeking any witnesses who fled the theater before police arrived.

“They’re still going through the theater and looking for evidence that would send us in one direction or another,” Kouroubacalis said. “We’re working in the blind.”

Kouroubacalis said police had not ruled out an attempted murder-suicide, or a “random vicious” attack by another person. Whether the nature of the film might have been a factor in the selection of the location for the shooting was not a major focus of the investigation but something investigators were likely looking at because they are “looking at everything,” Kouroubacalis said.

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He said he did not know how many rounds were fired in the theater. He also had no updated information on the condition of the man who was shot.

The woman would be identified after her family is notified, he said.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is assisting with the investigation. Kouroubacalis said anyone with information in the case should call Senior Det. Dan Neagu at (951) 739-4916.

Richard Grover, a spokesman for Regal, said the company was working with authorities as they pursue their investigation.

“Our primary concern is for the safety and security of our guests and staff,” Grover said.

Crossings at Corona did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

“The Forever Purge,” from Universal Pictures, is the latest in the “Purge” franchise of horror movies — all of which are based on the premise that, under a dystopian government, laws against violence are lifted for one night each year, leading to shootings, killings and other violence on a massive scale.

According to the film’s website, “The Forever Purge” features “a sect of lawless marauders” that “decides that the annual Purge does not stop at daybreak and instead should never end.”

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