'The Voice' Alum Christina Grimmie Dies After Concert Shooting
A man fatally shot the singer and then himself after her performance Friday.
Christina Grimmie, a contestant on The Voice season six, was fatally shot at a concert Friday night. She was 22.
Orlando police said Saturday in a statement they responded to a call at the Plaza Live venue at about 10:20 p.m. ET on Friday, where they found Grimmie injured. Grimmie performed with the band Before You Exit at the venue and stayed after the event to sign autographs for fans, when police say a 27-year-old white male approached the singer and shot her.
Grimmie's brother, Marcus, immediately tackled the gunman, who then shot and killed himself during the struggle, police said. They credited the singer's brother with preventing the gunman from hurting others. Around 120 others were in the venue at the time.
On Saturday afternoon, the Orlando Police Department identified the man who shot and killed Grimmie as St. Petersburg, Fla., native Kevin James Loibl.
Grimmie was transported Friday to a local hospital with critical injuries; her rep confirmed her death late Friday night.
"It is with a heavy heart that we can confirm that Christina has passed and went home to be with the Lord. She was shot at her show in Orlando and, unfortunately, didn't survive the gunshot wounds," the statement read. "We ask at this time that you respect the privacy of her family and friends in their time of mourning."
Orlando Police Chief John Mina said during a press conference on Saturday that the man who shot and killed the singer apparently traveled from another city in Florida to Orlando to confront her, the Associated Press reported. Mina said the man didn't appear to know her personally and may have been a deranged fan, although the motive was still unknown. He said the suspect who shot and killed her had on him two handguns, two loaded magazines and a hunting knife when he confronted the singer.
Detectives were searching his cellphone and social media accounts looking for clues as to a motive, Mina said, but they weren't aware of any history of stalking of Grimmie by the suspect. At the news conference, the police chief refused to identify the name of the suspect or where he came from in Florida. The suspect had made travel arrangement to come to Orlando alone, as well as travel arrangements to go back home, but he didn't have a car, Mina said. The police chief wouldn't elaborate further. Mina said there were unarmed security guards at the Plaza concert venue and they checked bags and purses for contraband. But Mina said there were no metal detectors or pat-downs of people as they entered the venue, a converted Space Age movie house.
The performer from New Jersey finished third during season six of The Voice in 2014, competing on the team of Maroon 5 star Adam Levine. Grimmie 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.
The band Before You Exit, as well as fellow performers, TV stars and reality contestants, took to Twitter after the incident with the hashtag #prayforChristina, including Grimmie's former Voice coach: "Behati and I are absolutely devastated and heartbroken by Christina Grimmie’s death. Our hearts go out to her family," Levine captioned an Instagram photo of the duo.
Fellow Voice coaches Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton also expressed their condolences on social media. The country singer shared with fans that he was "praying" for the young musician and was in disbelief. "I'm stunned and disgusted and heartbroken that we lost that sweet little girl … Keeping @TheRealGrimmie family in my heart and mind," tweeted Shelton.
In honor of Grimmie, The Voice's official Twitter account went dark for the singer, changing its profile image to a black box. "We are heartbroken. @TheRealGrimmie is a loved member of our family. Our thoughts are with her and her family. #PrayForChristina," The Voice tweeted. "There are no words. We lost a beautiful soul with an amazing voice. Our hearts go out to the friends, fans and family of @TheRealGrimmie."
Behati and I are absolutely devastated and heartbroken by Christina Grimmie’s death. Our hearts go out to her family pic.twitter.com/y4OMkm0uXu— Adam Levine (@adamlevine) June 11, 2016
My heart is absolutely broken. I miss you Christina pic.twitter.com/KWGwZZlj4t— Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) June 11, 2016
To an amazing soul and voice...may your legacy live on forever. Rest in peace beautiful, Christina— Usher Raymond IV (@Usher) June 11, 2016
Our artists & families is my territory on #theVoice. I take great pride. Knowing them. Hosting them. Supporting them. It's not TV. It's real— Carson Daly (@CarsonDaly) June 11, 2016
So sad about @TheRealGrimmie. I'm still in shock. She was special. Had IT. Talented. Kind. Funny. Loving. Courageous. We hurt w her family.— Carson Daly (@CarsonDaly) June 11, 2016
I'm stunned and disgusted and heartbroken that we lost that sweet little girl... Keeping @TheRealGrimmie family in my heart and mind.— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) June 11, 2016
There are no words. We lost a beautiful soul with an amazing voice. Our hearts go out to the friends, fans and family of @TheRealGrimmie.— The Voice (@NBCTheVoice) June 11, 2016
Haven't heard.. Just reading the same stuff y'all are at this point. Can't believe this.. https://t.co/CiSXc29MgC— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) June 11, 2016
Ok.. Praying.. https://t.co/CKjNlOGDQD— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) June 11, 2016
Just hearing about this.. Is this all true? Anybody know how she's doing? https://t.co/f6mqVEelrS— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) June 11, 2016
I am in tears and absolutely shocked. We spent an amazing month on tour with her & she radiates nothing but love. So sad. #PrayForChristina— Rachel Platten (@RachelPlatten) June 11, 2016
I am shocked hearing this terrible news. One of the sweetest people I have ever met. Doesn't deserve this. #PrayForChristina— Harry Shum Jr (@HarryShumJr) June 11, 2016
Very sad to hear of the tragic passing of NJ native Christina Grimmie. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and fans.— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) June 11, 2016
still so unbelievable, heartbreaking, & absolutely terrifying. #RIPChristina— Tyler Oakley (@tyleroakley) June 11, 2016
“Christina's talent, energy, and spirit set her apart as a true star, and this tragedy leaves a gaping hole in our NBC family,” said NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt.
“Christina’s music inspired millions of people across America and we are heartbroken to think of the millions more who will never get to see this beautiful person and performer,” said Paul Telegdy, president, alternative and reality group, NBC Entertainment. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, friends and all those who are currently feeling the depths of this horrible loss.”
"We were fortunate to know and work with Christina Grimmie, a wonderful young woman who reveled in sharing her talent and passion for music with the world. At this sorrowful time, we extend our deepest condolences to her family, friends, colleagues and fans."
OPD can confirm 27 year old Kevin James Loibl, suspect who shot Christina Grimmie, is from St Petersburg, FL pic.twitter.com/iN6RUi3VRx— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) June 11, 2016
June 11, 12:05 a.m. PT: Updated with confirmation of Grimmie's death.
June 11, 1:52 p.m. PT: Updated with suspected killer's name.