'The Voice' Singer Christina Grimmie Killed By Gunman At Orlando Concert Venue
Singer Christina Grimmie, a former contestant on The Voice, was shot by a gunman after a concert in Orlando, Fla., police say, and later died of her wounds.
Orlando Police have identified Grimmie's killer as 27-year-old Kevin James Loibl.
Grimmie was signing autographs for fans after the show at The Plaza Live late Friday, according to a statement from Orlando police. Then, "detectives were told the suspect — who is not being identified at this time — walked toward Christina and shot her." She was transferred to a hospital, where she later died.
Grimmie's brother immediately tackled the suspect after he opened fire, police say, and the suspect shot himself during the struggle. The police credit Grimmie's brother for "stopping him from causing any more harm to Christina and her fans." They say "the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene."
Orlando Police Chief John Mina told reporters that the suspect was carrying two handguns, additional magazines and a hunting knife. "The suspect in this case is not from Orlando. The suspect traveled to Orlando, apparently to commit this crime, and then had plans to travel back to where he came from." He came from another city in Florida, Mina said.
Mina adds that "there's no indication that he knew her."
Law enforcement officials are searching the suspect's phone, computer, home and car, and they say they hope these might point to a motive for the attack.
Grimmie's publicist Heather Weiss told The Associated Press in an email that "we can confirm that Christina has passed and went home to be with the Lord."
Questions have been raised about security procedures at the concert venue after the attack. Mina said that he was not aware of metal detectors and people are not patted down. "I'm told that the security measures in place are that people open their bags and the security people look inside those bags for weapons."
Grimmie finished third in the 2014 season of the NBC singing competition. As The Associated Press notes, "She began amassing a following on YouTube as a teenager, gripping online viewers with her powerful renditions of hit songs. Her videos on YouTube have garnered millions of views."
Before the show, she posted a video on her Twitter account encouraging fans to attend.
The Voice expressed its condolences on its official Twitter account: "We are heartbroken," it says. Grimmie "is a loved member of our family. Our thoughts are with her and her family."
Grimmie was coached during the show by Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine, and he posted a photo of the two of them together on his Instagram account: "I'm sad, shocked and confused. We love you so much Grimmie. We are all praying hard that you can pull through this...this just isn't fair." As The Associated Press notes, he posted the photo before her death was confirmed.
And in remembrance of Grimmie, The Voice's Youtube channel is featuring this video of her performing the title track from her album With Love.
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