Voice contestant Christina Grimme shot and killed during Orlando concert
ORLANDO, Fla.- Hours before what would be her last concert, singer Christina Grimmie jovially invited fans to see her show in central Florida in a video that she posted on social media on Friday afternoon.
Not long after, the former star of NBC’s “The Voice” would be dead.
She was shot by a man who walked up to her after the performance in Orlando, police said.
The suspect was not from that central Florida city, and “traveled to Orlando apparently to commit this crime,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina told reporters Saturday.
The gunman was a 21-year-old white male and had two handguns, two additional loaded magazines and a large hunting knife, Mina said.
Mina, who did not name the gunman, said investigators were going through the man’s computer, phone and other belongings to see if they can find information about a motive.
The armed man approached the 22-year-old singer as she was signing autographs late Friday night and opened fire, Orlando police spokeswoman Wanda Miglio said.
The gunman fatally shot himself after Grimmie’s brother tackled him, according to authorities.
“Her brother is a hero for saving and stopping him from not hurting anyone else,” Miglio said.
The singer had performed at The Plaza Live theater Friday night, along with the band Before You Exit, when the shooting broke out.
She was rushed to a hospital in critical condition and died a few hours later.
The Plaza Live Venue in Orlando issued a statement on Saturday extending their 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 Plaza Live statement said.
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.”
“It is with a heavy heart that we can confirm that Christina has passed and went home to be with the Lord,” her publicist Heather Weiss said in a statement.
“She was shot at her show in Orlando and, unfortunately, didn’t survive the gunshot wounds. We ask at this time that you respect the privacy of her family and friends in their time of mourning.”
Fans, friends and celebrities showed an outpouring of sorrow on social media using #RIPChristinaGrimmie.
Grimme was discovered on YouTube, where she amassed a huge fan following.
Grimme went on to win a spot on Season 6 of “The Voice” after her show-stopping performance of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” during a blind audition that captivated the attention of all four contestant judges.
Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, and Adam Levine have all expressed their grief and condolences on social media.
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.”
Police have not named the suspect or given a motive for the shooting.