June 11, 2016 – The gunman who shot and killed a singer who rose to fame after appearing on “The Voice” traveled to Orlando specifically to attack her, authorities said Saturday.
The Orlando Police Department announced at a live news conference Saturday morning that the suspect who shot Christina Grimmie is a 27-year old white male. He is not local. He was armed with two handguns and a hunting knife.
Grimmie was shot to death after giving a concert in Orlando on Friday night. She died early Saturday.
The 22-year-old singer from New Jersey finished third during season six of NBC’s “The Voice” in 2014, competing on the team of Maroon 5 star Adam Levine. She 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.
More after this ad…
In an earlier statement, police said Grimmie had performed with the band Before You Exit at The Plaza Live in Orlando. The concert ended around 10 p.m., and Grimmie was shot as she signed autographs for fans at a merchandise table.
Grimmie’s brother 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.
West Islip, N.Y., native Tim Brucker was in Florida on vacation. He and his friends were in line to get an autograph when chaos broke out, he told the Daily News.
Brucker heard between four and six gunshots before running out of the venue and hiding behind a shipping container, he said.
Hot-dog salesman Josh Call told the Orlando Sentinel that he went inside the venue and saw a woman with blood coming from her head and a man in a pool of blood.
Not confirmed but, it’s being reported that the alleged shooter who murdered Christina was an ex-boyfriend of her.
Sgt. Wanda Miglio said that about 60 to 100 people were in attendance, though only a handful remained when the shooting happened.
Miglio said she did not know what security was like at the venue, or how the shooter got two guns inside. She also said she did not know if off-duty officers were working the concert.
“It was just a casual event,” she said.
Grimmie had posted a video of herself shortly before the concert was scheduled to begin, encouraging fans to come see her perform.
Levine posted a photo of himself with Grimmie on Instagram, commenting before her death was confirmed: “I’m sad, shocked and confused. We love you so much Grimmie. We are all praying hard that you can pull through this … this just isn’t fair.”
When reports of Grimmie’s death first surfaced, #PrayforChristina was the top trending hashtag on Twitter. After her death was confirmed, #RIPChristina became the top trending hashtag as Grimmie’s fans took to social media to express an outpouring of grief.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported in 2014 that Grimmie moved to Los Angeles in 2012 after joining Selena Gomez on tour to focus on her singing career.
“I’m done being surprised by cool things she does. She’s very talented and she’s worked incredibly hard — it’s a dangerous combination,” her brother Mark Grimmie told the newspaper at the time.