'The Voice' Alum Christina Grimmie Dies After Concert Shooting

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
Christina Grimmie

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."

 

#ripchristina

A photo posted by Nick Jonas (@nickjonas) on

NBC
“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.”

Radio Disney
"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."

 

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.

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