Christina Grimmie, a 22-year-old former contestant on The Voice, was shot and killed Friday night while signing autographs after her Orlando, FL show.
Kevin James Loibl, 27, opened fire after Grimmie’s concert with the band Before You Exit at The Plaza Live late Friday night. He fatally shot himself after Grimmie’s brother Marcus tackled him to the ground, an Orlando police spokeswoman said. “[Grimmie’s] brother is a hero for saving and stopping him from not hurting anyone else,” said the spokeswoman.
Loibl is from St. Petersburg, Florida and, according to Police Chief John Mina, traveled to Orlando with the intention of killing Grimmie. His specific motive is currently unclear. Loibl arrived at a meet and greet with Grimmie after the show armed with two handguns and a hunting knife, Orlando police said.
Grimmie was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and died a few hours later. “It is with a heavy heart that we can confirm that Christina has passed and went home to be with the Lord,” Grimmie’s publicist Heather Weiss said in a statement.”She was shot at her show in Orlando and, unfortunately, didn’t survive the gunshot wounds. We ask at this time that you respect the privacy of her family and friends in their time of mourning.”
“We don’t know if he was just a crazy fan that followed her on Twitter or on social media,” the police spokeswoman said. “We really don’t know … it’s undetermined at this point.”
“Detectives are looking at his phone and computer in hopes of identifying a motive,” the department wrote in a statement. “Based on our investigation thus far, it appears that the suspect was alone and approached performer Christina Grimmie inside the venue after the show – as she was having a meet and greet with fans – and opened fire.”
Grimmie finished third on Season 6 of The Voice. The band touring with Grimmie mourned the singer on Twitter: “Christina was such a loving, caring, beautiful person with the biggest heart,” the band wrote.
“Christina was a natural, a gifted talent that comes along so rarely,” Voice judge Adam Levine said in a statement. “Behati and I are absolutely devastated and heartbroken by Christina Grimmie’s tragic death. Our hearts go out to her family. This is yet another senseless act of extreme violence. I am left stunned and confused how these things can conceivably continue to happen in our world.”
Levine offered to pay for Grimmie’s funeral, Marcus Grimmie wrote in a Facebook post: “I found out this morning, that Adam Levine personally called my mother and said he will pay for the funeral and her plane flight, and I was blown away.”
“We are heartbroken. [Grimmie] is a loved member of our family. Our thoughts are with her and her family,” producers of The Voice wrote on Twitter, adding, “There are no words. We lost a beautiful soul with an amazing voice. Our hearts go out to the friends, fans and family.”
“I’m stunned and disgusted and heartbroken that we lost that sweet little girl,” Voice judge Blake Shelton wrote. “Keeping [the Grimmie] family in my heart and mind.”
“So sad passing,” added Christina Aguilera. “Beautiful member of The Voice family & true fighter. My heart goes out to her family, friends & fans.”
On Twitter, Before the Exit spoke of the singer’s kindness and talent. “Christina was such a loving, caring, beautiful person with the biggest heart,” the band wrote on Twitter. “She was an absolutely incredible musician and an even better friend. We are so saddened by her passing and are completely heartbroken.”
Before the concert, Grimmie posted video on Twitter encouraging fans to come out to the show.
ORLANDO!! Come out to the show tonight at the Plaza Live! Starts at 7:30!pic.twitter.com/0D4mNupCTi
— Christina Grimmie (@TheRealGrimmie) June 10, 2016