The entertainment industry and fans the world over are still in shock over the shooting death of The Voice’s Christina Grimmie. She was gunned down while signing autographs on Friday night, following a show at The Plaza Live. She was only 22-years-old.
Justin: “Grimmie, can you hear me?”???? pic.twitter.com/9XeHahGZIP
— Justin Bieber Update (@NothingLikeMyJB) June 12, 2016
According to CNN, the man responsible for her death was Kevin James Loibl. After the firestorm surrounding her death, Loibl’s subsequent suicide and the struggle to make sense of it all, the shooter’s family has finally broken their silence; well, sort of. The family residence in St. Petersburg, Florida, is now home to a handwritten sign, which reads as follows.
“Deepest sorrow for lost (sic) to the family, friends, & fans of the very talented, loving Christina Grimmie. No other comments.”
Loibl turned his gun on himself after being tackled by Christina’s brother, Marcus. Police believe Marcus’s willingness to take action so quickly may have saved additional lives.
People Magazine reported that Destiny Rivera was standing directly behind the shooter before he opened fire and that Christina welcomed him with her arms open wide, “as she would any of her other friends with such enthusiasm.” Though it’s not confirmed, this welcoming behavior seems to indicate that Grimmie was completely unaware of the man’s intentions and did not perceive him as dangerous.
“I was talking to the girls behind us and there was a guy directly in line in front of us who I could’ve very easily started a conversation with,” Rivera told People. “But I didn’t, he just didn’t look like he was up for a conversation… He did look a little bit nervous, but he was by himself and he was dressed as any other concertgoer,” she continued. “He didn’t seem up for a conversation whatsoever, and he was kinda – he just kept looking around and was moving his body.”
“The Murder Of Christina Grimmie:How the Rising Stars Death Could’ve been Avoided” is up!: https://t.co/mcxcam2DhH pic.twitter.com/4O3B8TpkFY
— Risen Zine (@risenmags) June 12, 2016
Police Chief John Mina confirmed that Loibl had two handguns and two extra magazines, and a large hunting knife. Investigations are currently underway, and police are scouring Loibl’s computer and phone in the hopes of piecing together a motive. As of now, police do not believe Grimmie and Loibl were acquainted in any way. Police believe Loibl drove to Orlando with the intent to commit the crime before then returning to where he came from.
It is currently unknown whether or not attendees to the event were checked for weapons before entering the venue. Despite moderate security measures, there are no metal detectors at the venue and people are not patted down.
“We don’t know if he was just a crazy fan that followed her on Twitter or on social media,” police spokeswoman Wanda Miglio said. “We really don’t know… it’s undetermined at this point.”
The Plaza Live issued a statement and expressed condolences to the victims and announced that all activities at the venue and all upcoming 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.
Shockingly, Christina’s Twitter account was supposedly hacked a mere two hours after the shooting. The cryptic tweet read, “The end.” and fans were shocked to read such a cold message so soon after the tragedy. Fans and friends have formed a candlelight vigil outside The Plaza Live.
— Metro Entertainment (@Metro_Ents) June 12, 2016
Christina Grimmie was very open about her faith and her Christian lifestyle. Fans and the curious alike can visit ChristinaGrimmie.com to read more about the late singer and her perspective on life. Some people on social media have formulated the opinion that Grimmie was shot because of her Christian faith, and that her murder should be considered a hate crime. What do you think?
— Before You Exit ⇞ (@BYETours) June 12, 2016
[Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images]