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Christina Grimmie’s Murderer Identified

Christina Grimmie poses at a media event for the television show "The Voice" in Universal City, California April 15, 2014. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian/File Photo

By LIAM STACK, reposted from the New York Times (here)

The police on Saturday identified the man who shot and killed Christina Grimmie, a former cast member of the reality TV singing competition “The Voice” and a viral YouTube star, as a 27-year-old man from St. Petersburg, Fla.

The man, Kevin James Loibl, shot Ms. Grimmie in a premeditated attack, the police said, and then killed himself moments later. The shooting happened after a performance by Ms. Grimmie on Friday night in Orlando, and no motive was announced. The authorities said there was no indication the two knew each other.

Ms. Grimmie, 22, had performed with the band Before You Exit at a popular Orlando music venue, The Plaza Live, and was signing autographs for fans and selling merchandise shortly before 10:30 p.m. when the gunman walked up to her and opened fire, the Orlando Police Department said in a statement.

John Mina, the chief of the Orlando Police Department, said Mr. Loibl had traveled to Orlando with two handguns, several loaded magazines and a hunting knife. Police officials were examining his telephone and computer to try to determine a motive.

A note on the door of Mr. Loibl’s house in St. Petersburg expressed “the deepest sorrow” to Ms. Grimmie’s family, friends and fans and said there would be no other comment, The Associated Press reported.

A spokeswoman for Ms. Grimmie, Heather Weiss, said, “It is with a heavy heart that we can confirm that Christina has passed and went home to be with the Lord.”

The Police Department said in a statement that “Christina was a talented young artist, and we know that her fans and supporters want as much information as possible.”

“We will continue to update as the investigation unfolds,” it added.

When the shooting began, the singer’s brother Marcus Grimmie quickly tackled Mr. Loibl, who shot himself in the ensuing struggle. The police credited Mr. Grimmie with bringing the attack to a swift end and protecting fans. There were about 120 people present at the time of the shooting, Chief Mina said.

Photo

Kevin James LoiblCreditOrlando Police Department

“Her brother Marcus is a hero and possibly saved countless other lives,” the Police Department said. It said Mr. Grimmie had not been injured in the altercation.

Ms. Grimmie was “critically injured” when police officers arrived at the venue on Friday night and died of her injuries at a hospital at about 3 a.m. Saturday, according to a police statement.

Ms. Grimmie rose to fame on YouTube as a teenager, performing covers of well-known songs by contemporary artists like Miley Cyrus, Celine Dion and Usher that garnered millions of views.

Me Singing “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus – Christina Grimmie Video by zeldaxlove64 Christina Grimmie

Her profile grew in 2014 when she competed on the sixth season of the popular NBC singing competition “The Voice.” She finished third, winning the praise of its celebrity hosts, a broader fan base and a deal with Island Records.

Ms. Grimmie’s manager, Brian Teefey, described her as “like a second daughter” and said he was horrified by her death.

“All I wanted to do was assist her in achieving her musical dreams while protecting her from the pitfalls associated with the business,” Mr. Teefey said. “I never could have imagined this horrific event being one of the pitfalls needing to be avoided.”

On Saturday, her fans and friends in the music industry posted messages of shock and mourning on social media.

“I’m stunned and disgusted and heartbroken that we lost that sweet little girl,” Blake Shelton, a host of “The Voice,” wrote on Twitter on Saturday morning.

Adam Levine, another of the show’s hosts and Ms. Grimmie’s on-air mentor, wrote on Instagram before her death was confirmed, “I’m sad, shocked and confused.”

“This just isn’t fair,” he added.

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