Ex-'Voice' contestant Christina Grimmie did not know the man who killed her, police say

Singer Christina Grimmie died early Saturday after being shot inside an Orlando concert venue Friday night, police said. Grimmie, 22, was inside the Plaza Live venue signing autographs when a man armed with two guns opened fire then fatally shot himself.

Singer Christina Grimmie, who was shot and killed after a show in Orlando, Fla., on Friday night, did not know her assailant, police said.

The gunman, identified by police as Kevin James Loibl, 27, of St. Petersburg, Fla., traveled to the Plaza Live theater with two small-caliber handguns, police said. He walked up to Grimmie, who was signing autographs after the show, and shot her about 10:30 p.m., police Chief John Mina said. Her brother immediately tackled the man and he fatally shot himself.


"There is no indication that they knew each other," Mina said.

The man also had two loaded magazines and a large hunting knife with him, the chief said.

Grimmie, a 22-year-old former contestant on NBC's "The Voice," was in Orlando on Friday to open for Before You Exit, a band with local roots. Mina said officers received multiple phone calls about the shooting and arrived at the venue within two minutes of the first call.

The man came to Orlando with the intention of killing Grimmie, Mina said.

Mina said no car was found at the venue and police believe the man arranged transportation to and from the venue. No details were given about how he originally arrived in Orlando.

Grimmie's brother, Marcus Grimmie, tackled the suspect, Mina said.

"[It is] unknown what his plans were for after killing Christina, but very heroic actions by Marcus Grimmie to jump in could have prevented loss of life there," said Mina.

About 120 people were in the theater at the time of the shooting. No other injuries were reported.

The venue has no metal detectors, but does employ unarmed security guards to check peoples' bags for weapons, Mina said. Mina said he did not know how the suspect entered the venue with firearms.

Mina said that Orlando police would lead the investigation and would search his computer and phone for evidence.

Mina said he couldn't remember police having to respond to any previous violent incidents at the venue.

"I think it's important to note the type of crowd that attends this," said Mina. "We're talking about young kids. This isn't a crowd that you would expect would be carrying a gun to a venue like this."

Fans of the singer, who also had a large following on YouTube, are grieving on outlets like Twitter and Facebook, using the hashtag #RIPChristina.

Donations are being collected through a GoFundMe page, which was started at the request of Grimmie's management team, according to the page.


"Words cannot begin to describe the pain I am feeling," reads the page, that was signed by Grimmie's manager, Brian Teefey. "I learned this business through the eyes of a father and Christina was like a second daughter to me. All I wanted to do was assist her in achieving her musical dreams while protecting her from the pitfalls associated with the business. I never could have imagined this horrific event being one of the pitfalls needing to be avoided. In Christina's honor I have created a Go Fund Me page to assist her family in their time of need. As family Mother, Father, and Brother made the ultimate family sacrifice to support Christina on her musical journey. They did nothing but love her and support her as family the best they knew how, the only worry I want them to have at this point is that of recovery."

Teefey's post ends with this: "Grimms I love you, and miss you beyond comprehension."

The fund-raising page lists a goal of $4,000, a random figure selected when the page was posted, said Heather Weiss, Grimmie's publicist. As of 4 p.m. Saturday, $19,237 had been raised.

Before You Exit posted a formal statement on its Twitter account after police confirmed Grimmie died from her injuries.

"Christina was such a loving, caring, beautiful person with the biggest heart," reads the statement. "She was an absolutely incredible musician and an even better friend. We are so saddened by her passing and are completely heartbroken."

The band described Grimmie as a "constant beam of light and energy into the hearts of everyone around her."

The Plaza Live canceled the Kidz Bop concert that was scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon, and said ticketholders can get refunds at the point of purchase.

The venue, which remains closed until further notice as police continue to investigate the shooting, issued a statement Saturday.

"The board and staff at the Plaza Live Venue are deeply saddened by the tragic events of Friday evening," reads the statement. "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."

A previous version of this story reported the suspect's age incorrectly. He is 27.


Dineen writes for the Orlando Sentinel. Gal Tziperman Lotan contributed to this report.


2:50 p.m. This article was updated with the name of the shooter and other details.

10:48 a.m. This article was updated with additional details.

This article was originally published at 8:54 a.m.