ORLANDO, Florida — Police in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday answered one of the major questions in the slaying of Christina Grimmie, the 22-year-old singer who made her name on NBC’s “The Voice.”
The man who shot and killed Grimmie was Kevin James Loibl, 27, of St. Petersburg, Florida, police said.
But they didn’t give any background on Loibl or offer a possible motive.
The 22-year-old singer was signing autographs late Friday after a show at the The Plaza Live theater when a man approached and opened fire, police spokeswoman Wanda Miglio said. Grimmie was rushed to a hospital, where she died.
Loibl fatally shot himself after Grimmie’s brother, Marcus Grimmie, tackled him, police said in a news release. About 120 people were at the meet-and-greet, police said, and the brother’s quick action may have saved other lives, police said.
The shooter had two handguns, two additional loaded magazines and a large hunting knife, police Chief John Mina said at a news briefing.
Mina said investigators were going through the man’s computer, phone and other belongings to see whether they can find information about a motive. There’s no evidence Grimmie and Loibl knew each other, police said.
Before naming the shooter, police said the suspect drove to Orlando, apparently to commit the crime, and “then had plans to travel back to where he came from.”
Theater suspends shows
It’s unclear how the gunman got a gun into the venue or whether attendees were checked for weapons.
“We don’t know if he was just a crazy fan that followed her on Twitter or on social media,” Miglio said. “We really don’t know … it’s undetermined at this point.”
Security measures are in place at The Plaza Live, police say, but there are no metal detectors and people are not patted down.
“As far as security, The Plaza does have security guards who wear polo shirts. They are unarmed,” Mina said. “They do check bags and purses as people enter.”
The Plaza Live issued a statement extending condolences to the victims and indicating all activities and events have been suspended “until further notice.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those lost as well as those that witnessed and aided in the recovery after this senseless act,” the statement said.
Fans are heartbroken
Grimmie posted a video hours before her last performance in which she jovially invited fans to see her show.
She was discovered on YouTube, where she amassed more than 3 million followers. Grimmie went on to win a spot on Season 6 of NBC’s “The Voice” after her show-stopping performance of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” during a blind audition captivated the attention of all four contestant judges.
The rising star finished third in the overall contest but went on to share her voice with the world.
Fans, friends and celebrities showed an outpouring of sorrow on social media using #RIPChristinaGrimmie.
One of her friends and mentors was singer Selena Gomez, who tweeted: “My heart is absolutely broken. I miss you Christina.”
“As you’ve seen all over social media, anyone who ever came across her or knew her, knows that she was just a truly good person, somebody you loved to be around, somebody who cared about the people around her and the world around her, it’s just a huge tragedy, “The Voice”, Season 6 winner Josh Kaufman told CNN’s “New Day” on Saturday.
The band that was touring with Grimmie, Before You Exit, said on Twitter that its members are heartbroken.
“Christina was such a loving, caring, beautiful person with the biggest heart,” Before You Exit said a statement attached to one of its tweets. “She was an absolutely incredible musician and an even better friend.”